Kawhi says goodbye, thank you to San Antonio in statement

Kawhi Leonard

Understated superstar Kawhi Leonard penned a farewell letter to San Antonio, thanking Spurs fans for their support as he starts anew as a member of the Toronto Raptors.

It's a thank you letter to everyone around the Spurs, with coach Gregg Popovich specifically listed. - I'll never forget what we have shared and accomplished together.

Despite his success with the franchise, Leonard requested a trade this offseason, paving the way for the Raptors to acquire him in return for DeMar DeRozan.

"I have been going back and forth the last few weeks trying to figure out the right things to say, and it all comes down to two simple words: THANK YOU", the statement says. He appeared in nine games for the Spurs in 2017-18, last playing on January 13 before sitting out the rest of the season with a quad injury. Leonard gives a shoutout to his teammates "over my seven years in the National Basketball Association".

The current Spur and former Raptors' forward is now on the outside looking in, and has his choice words for how the Raptors handled DeMar DeRozan this offseason.

And having been traded from the Raptors before, Gay understands a little of the hurt DeRozan feels. A big reason for the Spurs' NBA title in 2014, a team Baynes was a member of, was the growth of Leonard, who was named NBA Finals MVP.

There was speculation that Leonard would not play for Toronto, as his preference was to head to Los Angeles and play for the Lakers. He was a first-team All-NBA player in 2016 and 2017, and is likely one of the five best players in the league when healthy.

However, questions remain about the status of a right leg injury that shelved him for all but nine games last season.