New Raptor Kawhi Leonard 'looking forward to next chapter,' thanks Spurs

The Lakers will reportedly not offer up Kyle Kuzma Lonzo Ball or Brandon Ingram

Popovich and Leonard appeared to have a fractured relationship at times during the Leonard's final year in San Antonio, when the disgruntled forward suited up for just nine games due to injury.

In his letter, Leonard praised former coach Gregg Popovich, saying he will "always be grateful for my growth under your guidance".

"I have been going back and forth the last few weeks trying to figure out the right things to say, and it comes down to two simple word: THANK YOU!"

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

THANK YOU to the fans!

There was speculation that Leonard would not play for Toronto, as his preference was to head to Los Angeles and play for the Lakers.

More news: United Kingdom likely to see above-average temperatures until October

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

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.

He also thanked the city of San Antonio, his former teammates and the fans.

"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 demanded a trade this summer away from the only team he has known, after seven mostly brilliant seasons in San Antonio.

Leonard's first home game as a member of the Toronto Raptors will come on Friday, October 19, when they host the Boston Celtics in a nationally televised contest airing on ESPN.

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