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Sure, this NBA Finals will carry an asterisk for some, especially after Klay Thompson went down with a torn ACL in the middle of Game 6 a few days after Kevin Durant went down with a torn Achilles. But Toronto still had to take it, still had to stop Steph, still had to beat Draymond, still had to go into a fired-up Oracle and win.
And they were able to do that because they had Kawhi Leonard.
A year ago they didn't. They were a good, not great team that had plateaued by reaching the conference semifinals. So Masai Ujiri pulled the string, trading away arguably the best player in franchise history for a better player.
Stupid move, right, because Kawhi would never stay in Toronto. They may be the North, but he's SoCal through and through, and giving up DeMar DeRozan for a chance to convince Kawhi to stay is a steep price.
That is, until they won the championship. Now re-signing Kawhi is icing on the cake. Even if he leaves, leaving the cupboard a bit bare, the entire country of Canada will take the one-year championship rental in lieu of 10 more with DeRozan.
There's a reason why the Washington Wizards are reportedly offering Ujiri $10 million a year to run their team. He risked it all and won.