According to Yahoo Sports’ Shams Charania, former Spurs Kawhi Leonard, traded to the Toronto Raptors, will return to San Antonio on January 3.
Thursday night? Really?
Well, it could well be the first game or so of 2019 for both teams. By then, Kawhi will hopefully have returned to the Raptors’ lineup in full force and DeMar DeRozan will be a fully integrated Spur. Compared to LeBron, Leonard’s return to his original team will be muted, but he’ll have to want to go off for a big night (expect Danny Green to).
It’s hard to say whether Leonard will be cheered, in light of the title and great run he led the Spurs to, or booed, due to his disgruntled 2017-18 season and murky departure from a franchise looking to him to replace the great Tim Duncan. Leonard has since penned a letter thanking San Antonio.
DeRozan, on the other hand, was visibly upset at being traded from a franchise to which he committed much. DeRozan re-signed with the Raptors without taking a meeting with his hometown Los Angeles Lakers, who seemed intent on making the talented shooting guard the new face of the franchise. DeRozan will certainly look to defeat his former Toronto team in front of his now-hometown fans.