Kawhi Leonard pens thank you letter to fans, Spurs

NBA trade news Kawhi Leonard joined the Toronto Raptors last month

NBA trade news Kawhi Leonard joined the Toronto Raptors last month

Understated superstar Kawhi Leonard penned a farewell letter to San Antonio, thanking Spurs fans for their support as he starts anew as a member of the Toronto Raptors.

The Indiana Pacers selected Leonard with the 15th pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, but the Spurs traded for him on the same night in a deal involving George Hill.

Leonard goes on to thank his teammates, his friends, his family, Gregg Popovich and, of course, the fans.

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. Leonard gives a shoutout to his teammates "over my seven years in the National Basketball Association".

But he finally opened up - I use that phrasing loosely - in a letter to the San Antonio Express-News.

"Through ups and downs - glad there were many more ups!"

He appeared in nine games for the Spurs in 2017-18, last playing on January 13 before sitting out the rest of the season with a quad injury.

Leonard, 27, had an impressive seven-year run with San Antonio with two All-NBA First Team selections and a title in 2014. The diagnosis and treatment of that injury seemed to drive a wedge between Leonard and the Spurs organization that led him to suggest a change of teams would be appropriate.

Leonard has not made a long-term commitment to the Raptors and is expected to be a target of the Los Angeles Lakers in free agency next summer.

"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.

Spurs doctors had cleared Leonard to return to play last season, but he sought second opinions and did not return, making his health a question mark following the trade.

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