Latest posts by Ashish Mathur (see all)
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The Los Angeles Clippers, Denver Nuggets, Phoenix Suns, Portland Trail Blazers, Toronto Raptors and Washington Wizards are among the teams who’ve talked with the San Antonio Spurs regarding a Kawhi Leonard trade, according to a report from ESPN.
San Antonio has been determined in demanding a sizable return for Leonard, causing the Los Angeles Lakers, Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers to steadily decrease their communication with the Spurs.
The Lakers have spoken to the Spurs on multiple occasions, but are unwilling to part ways with Brandon Ingram and Kyle Kuzma, two players San Antonio want in return for Leonard.
The Lakers are operating under the impression that if they can’t acquire Leonard this summer, he will just sign with them when he becomes a free agent in 2019. But the Lakers should be careful with that logic, as Paul George was once thought to be a lock to be a Laker and now he’s in Oklahoma City for the long-haul after re-signing with the Thunder on a four-year deal.
In their talks with the Sixers, the Spurs have consistently asked for Dario Šarić, Robert Covington, Markelle Fultz and three future first-round picks. Philadelphia has refused to include Fultz.
The Raptors could potentially build a trade for Leonard centered around either DeMar DeRozan or Kyle Lowry, and some combination of OG Anunoby, Pascal Siakam and future draft pick compensation.
Portland hasn’t offered guards Damian Lillard or CJ McCollum since Leonard could potentially be a one-year rental. Leonard will be an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2019.
Leonard, a two-time Defensive Player of the Year and a Finals MVP, reportedly prefers to play for one of the teams in Los Angeles. There have, however, been conflicting reports as of late, as some reports indicate Leonard is fixated on joining the Lakers, while other outlets are reporting he favors the Clippers now that LeBron James is on the Lakers.
Hall-of-Fame NFL receiver Cris Carter has consistently been a source of reliable news on the Leonard situation. During his playing days, Carter was represented by Mitch Frankel, who represents Leonard at the moment, so Carter has some inside information that others don’t have access to.
Carter reiterated Tuesday that Leonard wants to be in Los Angeles.
“Nothing’s changed from Kawhi’s side from these standpoints: He still wants to go to Los Angeles, and he’s still not interested in being rented out for one season,” Carter said.