Raptors bring in Jeremy Castleberry as a player development coach.
In an effort to make Toronto feel more like home for Kawhi Leonard, the Raptors have reportedly brought in Jeremy Castleberry, who has worked with Leonard as a Spurs staffer and played with the All-Star forward in high school and at San Diego State, where he was a walk-on, according to ESPN's Ian Begley.
It is believed that Castleberry will be a player development coach, which won't hurt Toronto's chances of keeping Leonard but Raptors fans shouldn't hold their breath. Although the Raptors would be able to offer Leonard a five-year, $190 million contract next summer, it is expected that he'll be going back to Cali to join the Los Angeles Lakers, or even the Los Angeles Clippers, once he becomes a free agent. If Leonard does leave the Raptors, the most he could sign for is a four-year, $141 million deal, according to ESPN.
During his six seasons in San Antonio, Leonard was a two-time All-Star and two-time Defensive Player of the Year, in addition to winning an NBA championship and NBA Finals MVP in 2014. The 27-year old forward only appeared in nine games last season due to injury, but he averaged a career-high 25.5 points per game in the previous season, in addition to 5.8 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.8 steals per game.
The Raptors will open up the 2018-19 season at home against the Cleveland Cavaliers on October 17, followed by a nationally televised showdown against the Boston Celtics on October 19. Kawhi and his new teammates will face off against DeMar DeRozan and the San Antonio Spurs for the first time on January 3. That game will be played in San Antonio.