Latest posts by Sam Amico (see all)
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The Cleveland Cavaliers are calling the San Antonio Spurs about star forward Kawhi Leonard, but pulling off a trade won’t be easy.
Leonard’s representatives made it known Friday he wants out of San Antonio, and the Cavs are all in on finding out what it will take to land him.
But the Spurs are said to be seeking young players with star potential, and the Cavs are in short supply of guys who fit that description.
They do have the No. 8 overall pick in Thursday’s draft, and can immediately trade whoever they select. Kevin Love, Tristan Thompson, Larry Nance Jr. and Cedi Osman are other Cavs pieces that could potentially interest the Spurs in a package deal. Sources indicted the Cavs could possibly try to get a third team involved as well.
Osman, in particular, has been drawing lots of interest around the league following his solid rookie season.
As for Leonard, for all his talent, there are some concerns.
For one, he played in just nine games last season after suffering a quad injury. His approach to rehabbing the injury is what seemed to cause many of his issues with the Spurs.
Despite reports that the injury is close to healed, no NBA team has seen any sort of official medical update or evidence.
On top of that, his contract expires at the end of next season. As Terry Pluto of Cleveland.com noted, “Trading for Leonard for one year with no commitment to his future is a risk for any team.”
Meanwhile, owner Dan Gilbert, general manager Koby Altman and the Cavs have no idea what LeBron James plans to do in free agency — but their attempts to get Leonard have little to do with LeBron and a lot more to do with them just performing their due diligence and trying to improve the team.
Obviously, though, they would certainly feel more comfortable trying to land Leonard in the last year of his contract if James were to return.
Leonard supposedly is hoping to play in Los Angeles, preferably for the Lakers. The Spurs, however, are said to be determined to keep him out of the Western Conference, and may even take a lesser deal to send him to the East.
That could give the Cavs a shot — a long shot for sure, but a shot nonetheless.
Either way, it appears the Cavs are at least going to make a run and find out if they can add another star to a roster that could always use one.