There’s no truth to the rumor that the Phoenix Suns may be open to trading the No. 1 overall pick in a deal for San Antonio Spurs star Kawhi Leonard, according to the Arizona Republic.
Leonard has made it know that he’s seeking a trade — and the Spurs will most certainly seek a star, or young potential stars in return.
But Leonard can become a free agent at the end of next season, as the Arizona Republic noted, and the Suns don’t want to move top-flight young players for what might turn into a one-year rental.
“Phoenix could try to convince Leonard to sign a five-year contract extension, but why would Leonard sign long-term with a team that has missed the playoffs eight straight seasons?” wrote Scott Bordow of the Republic. “Also, most NBA observers believe Leonard is determined to hit free agency so he can choose his team.”
While the Suns won’t trade their top pick for Leonard they could act as a facilitator in a possible three-tear trade, Bordow noted.
“Leonard reportedly has expressed interest in playing for the Los Angeles Lakers, and the Lakers have enough young assets to potentially satisfy the Spurs,” he wrote. “Phoenix could get involved by taking Luol Deng’s contract off the Lakers’ hands – he has two years and $36 million left on his deal – in exchange for one of Los Angeles’ young players. Say, for example, point guard Lonzo Ball.”
The Suns are widely expected to select Arizona center Deandre Ayton with the No. 1 pick.