Since Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green made their return to San Antonio, there have been some changes. Not for the Spurs, mind you, but on the part of the Raptors.
Nope, the Spurs stood pat at the deadline despite rumors of Pau Gasol wanting a trade. PATFO did what they normally do and stay the course.
But on the other side of the coin, Toronto made big waves over the NBA trade deadline by trading Jonas Valanciunas, Delon Wright, C.J. Miles and a 2024 second-round pick to the Memphis Grizzlies for Marc Gasol. They also parted ways with Greg Monroe and 2021 second-round pick who went to the Brooklyn Nets for cash considerations. They signed Patrick McCaw and Jeremy Lin, who had been waived by the Cleveland Cavaliers and Atlanta Hawks respectively. They even grabbed Jodie Meeks for a 10-day contract.
That’s a lot of change over the last month after a major overhaul this summer. The Raptors, after firing Dwane Casey the day before he was named NBA Coach of the Year, traded DeMar DeRozan and Jakob Poeltl to the Spurs for the aforementioned Leonard and Green. Strangely enough, the trade seems to have been mutually beneficial.
This will be DeRozan and Poeltl’s return to Toronto. As with the January contest, tensions will most likely be high. Not constant booing and “traitor” high, but you get the picture.
It’s hard to know what to expect with so many new pieces to Toronto’s puzzle. Will “Linsanity” knock the Spurs as it has so many times (and in so many different jerseys) before? Will Marc Gasol offer the drubbing that was missing from the last Memphis Grizzlies Game? Will DeMar shake off the winter chill and once again reign supreme as he did in autumn? Will Derrick White be back, because believe it or not, that’s a bigger deal than anyone anticipated?
No matter the outcome, no matter the score, it’s just great to have the San Antonio Spurs suited up and back into the swing. This is the long haul that will test the resolve of the good guys.
I, for one, am looking forward to it.
Go! Spurs! Go!
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