This has been a unique week….
How often do two top-five players, in different sports, get traded in the same week?!
Kawhi Leonard Gets Shipped North Of The Border
Ask, and you shall receive. The only thing is, you don’t always get exactly what you ask for. Despite being lauded as the NBA’s gold standard over the past two decades, the San Antonio Spurs and Kawhi Leonard grew out of love. In June, Leonard publicly requested a trade. Leonard’s destination wish-list was short: The Los Angeles Lakers.
As hard as it is to imagine Gregg Popovich laughing, he probably doubled over when he heard Leonard’s request.
Oh, you want to play in sunny California, for one of the most storied franchises in NBA history, in Popovich’s conference?!?! That’s cute. Instead, Leonard was banished to the Toronto Raptors for the final year of his contract. In return, the Spurs received DeMar DeRozan, Jakob Poeltl, and a 2022 1st-round top-20 protected pick.
The Spurs won this trade — by a lot.
Yes, Leonard is better than DeRozan, so (assuming Leonard is a good soldier this year) the Raptors have a chance in the Eastern Conference. However, knowing Leonard wasn’t going to resign with the Spurs, and CLEARLY isn’t going to resign with the Raptors, the haul the Spurs got for their disgruntled (rental) superstar is astonishing. DeRozan is an all-star who’s under contract for three more years. And don’t sleep on the 22-year old, seven-footer (Poeltl). He’s the type of player Popovich turns into a 10 point, 8 rebound machine, providing depth in the frontcourt.
I’m Moving To Los Angeles!!
It’s good to be Manny Machado.
It’s not every day you start your day on the worst team in MLB (Baltimore Orioles), and end your day on a World Series contender (Los Angeles Dodgers). Also, the weather is slightly better in L.A. than Baltimore — last time I checked.
Like I said….it’s GOOD to be Manny Machado.
Just like Kawhi Leonard, Manny Machado is a top-five player in his respective sport. Just like Leonard, Machado is an expiring contract, and wasn’t expected to resign with his former team. And just like Leonard, Machado helped bring his former team quite the haul.
The Orioles received five prospects for Machado: outfielder Yusniel Diaz, right-handed pitchers Dean Kremer and Zach Pop, and infielders Rylan Bannon and Breyvic Valera.
Diaz is the prize here, as he was ranked #73 in Baseball Prospectus’ rankings prior to this season.
This deal makes sense for both sides. The Orioles read the tea leaves and did what they had to do, while the Dodgers immediately launched themselves into World Series contention.
And Machado seems to have adjusted nicely to his new home. He’s hitting a smooth .385 through his first three games. Yeah, he’s pretty good.
With just eight days remaining until the MLB trade deadline, stay up to date with every move on DaveTalksSports.com.