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Kawhi Leonard of Toronto Raptors breaks silence to thank San Antonio Spurs

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NBA trade news Raptors GM Masai Ujiri has taken a gamble on trading for Kawhi Leonard

Just days after longtime Spur Tony Parker wrote a goodbye letter to San Antonio and the Spurs family, ex-Spur Kawhi Leonard has done the same. THANK YOU Pop I'll always be grateful for my growth under your guidance.

Toronto acquired Leonard guard Danny Green in a blockbuster trade on July 18 that sent DeMar DeRozan - who was the popular face of the Raptors franchise - as well as emerging centre Jakob Poeltl and a protected 2019 first-round draft pick to Texas.

But he finally opened up - I use that phrasing loosely - in a letter to the San Antonio Express-News. Leonard gives a shoutout to his teammates "over my seven years in the National Basketball Association". On one side, there was [Kawhi Leonard] that was trying to get out, get to a bigger market, and they were totally being up front with him, and then they trade him for a guy [DeMar DeRozan] where, that organization wasn't being up front with him at all.

THANK YOU to the fans!

It's interesting to note that while Leonard said he's "looking forward to the next chapter" of his career, he didn't specifically mention his new city, or his new team.

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

"While I'm looking forward to the next chapter in my career, I'll always remember the city and the people of San Antonio", Leonard wrote. He only appeared in nine games last season before sitting out the entire campaign due to a quad injury.

The 2018-2019 regular season for the National Basketball Association will tip off October 16, with the Spurs regular season schedule due out this Friday.

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

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