Kawhi Leonard doesn't directly mention Raptors in letter thanking Spurs

NBA trade news Jimmy Butler has been linked with the Lakers

NBA trade news Jimmy Butler has been linked with the Lakers

In a trade that sent shockwaves throughout the National Basketball Association, the Raptors acquired Leonard and three-point shooter Danny Green last month, while San Antonio received all-star DeMar DeRozan, backup centre Jakob Poeltl and a protected 2019 first-round pick.

One part of Leonard's statement includes a thank you to Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, reading "THANK YOU Pop I'll always be grateful for my growth under your guidance".

Shortly after a meeting between Leonard and Popovich, the Spurs moved the two-time National Basketball Association defensive player of the year to the Raptors.

Outside of that, this is a pretty boilerplate "thank you" letter from the reserved forward as he starts his new chapter in Toronto. There is not a more passionate or dedicated fan base than what I've witnessed in San Antonio.

Leonard didn't directly mention Toronto or the Raptors, but did say that he was "looking forward to the next chapter in my career".

Kawhi Leonard has been silent since being acquired by the Raptors from San Antonio as part a trade for DeMar DeRozan and isn't expected to address Toronto media until training camp in September. "That trade right there shows you the difference between the San Antonio Spurs and other organizations".

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"Through all the ups and downs - I'm glad there were many more ups!"

While Leonard rarely speaks publicly on his intentions, the belief among most pundits is that he wants to join the Los Angeles Lakers.

"It's cool to see all the kids excited to hang out with us, and I'm excited to hang out with them", White said.

Leonard should be proud of what he accomplished in San Antonio, winning Finals MVP during the 2014 championship season and growing from a mid-first-round-pick into strong a regular-season MVP candidate.

Leonard leaves the Spurs with career averages of 16.3 points, 6.2 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.8 steals and 0.7 blocks per game.

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