The Toronto Raptors are hiring San Antonio Spurs staffer Jeremy Castleberry, a close friend of Kawhi Leonard to a position on their coaching staff, according to ESPN.
The Raptors acquired Leonard and Danny Green in exchange for DeMar DeRozan, Jakob Poeltl, and a protected 2019 first-round pick last month.
“THE RAPTORS WOULD BE ABLE TO OFFER LEONARD A FIVE-YEAR, $190 MILLION CONTRACT NEXT SUMMER. IF LEONARD LEAVES THE RAPTORS, HE COULD SIGN A FOUR-YEAR, $141 MILLION DEAL WITH A TEAM WITH THE AVAILABLE SALARY-CAP SPACE.HIRING CASTLEBERRY CERTAINLY WON’T HURT TORONTO’S CHANCES OF KEEPING LEONARD.SO FAR, LEONARD’S PREFERENCE IS TO SIGN IN LOS ANGELES WITH EITHER THE LAKERS OR CLIPPERS NEXT SEASON, SOURCES TOLD WOJNAROWSKI.”
The smart money is still on Leonard bolting next summer to go to Los Angeles, but if the Raptors are able to change his mind it will not be one big thing but a thousand little ones. And a lot of wins. But hiring Castleberry is a start.