Kawhi Leonard, Spurs

Raptors hiring close friend from Kawhi Leonard’s from the Spurs

The Toronto Raptors made the huge offseason move with the blockbuster trade for All-Star forward Kawhi Leonard in a multiplayer deal that included All-Star guard DeMar DeRozan.

This has also put the pressure on the Raptors to begin making an appealing case to Leonard to convince him to stay long-term with the franchise beyond the 2018-19 campaign. According to Ian Begley of ESPN, the team has already begun to take steps in that direction by bringing aboard one of the 27-year-old’s close friends on the San Antonio Spurs staff in Jeremy Castleberry.

 

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The Toronto Raptors are hiring San Antonio Spurs staffer Jeremy Castleberry — a close friend of Kawhi Leonard — to a position on their coaching staff, league sources told ESPN.

Castleberry has a long history with Leonard have both played with in high school and at San Diego State. The two clearly have a strong connection with each other that extends off the court. It is a keen move by the Raptors to help make Leonard feel more comfortable in his new surroundings.

 

Read: Mitch Creek Signs Training Deal With the Brooklyn Nets

 

Toronto has the opportunity to continue to make a strong impression on their new star forward over the next several months as he gets more acclimated. The team is counting on him to be one of their key contributors as possibly the main factor on both ends of the floor.

There could likely be some similar moves ahead from the Raptors in order to appeal stronger to Leonard in a manner that the Oklahoma City Thunder were able to do so with All-Star forward Paul George. This had led to George staying with the team on a new four-year, $137 million deal last month. Only time will tell if that can also be the case for Toronto with potentially their new face of the franchise.

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