Toronto Raptors: How the Kawhi Leonard trade impacts every player

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WASHINGTON, DC – APRIL 27: Kyle Lowry #7 of the Toronto Raptors shoots in front of Marcin Gortat #13 of the Washington Wizards in the first half during Game Six of Round One of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at Capital One Arena on April 27, 2018 in Washington, DC. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

The Kawhi Leonard trade not only impacts the Toronto Raptors as a whole, but impacts everyone on the roster individually. What is the biggest change for each player?

After remaining largely the same over the past four years, the Toronto Raptors will look completely different next season. The team’s leader in minutes and usage, DeMar DeRozan was traded to the San Antonio Spurs for perhaps the best two-way player in the game Kawhi Leonard.

The trade has been well written about from many angles. There have been many articles which focus on the lineup swap of Leonard for DeRozan, a few that discuss Danny Green, and even a couple focusing on what Toronto will do at backup center, with Jakob Poeltl gone.

But what has rarely been talked about is the impact the trade will have on the current Raptor roster.

Only a handful of players can impact the game regardless of their surroundings. Most players’ success is highly dependent on both their ability AND their situation. After the Kawhi trade, each Raptor will be in a new situation.

How that situation will impact their role on the team, is dependent on each individual player.

Kyle Lowry: Now the clear number two option

By most standards, DeMar DeRozan was the number one option for the Toronto Raptors last season.

Yet according to some, Kyle Lowry was still the best player on the team.

Next season, Lowry will decidedly not be the best player on the team. Kawhi Leonard holds that title,  and if he is healthy, he will earn that title by a healthy margin.

Lowry should accept this role swap with open arms. Playing robin is an easier job, and with a star like Leonard as Batman, Lowry will could have his best season-to-date.

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