Latest posts by Ashish Mathur (see all)
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Nearly half a dozen general managers told Bleacher Report’s Ric Bucher during the first weekend of the Las Vegas Summer League that they would trade for San Antonio Spurs star Kawhi Leonard even without a guarantee he’ll stay beyond next season.
Leonard, who has requested a trade from the Spurs, will become a unrestricted free agent in 2019.
“I wouldn’t say we’re all scared to death to make a deal because there’s no chance he’ll re-sign [with a team somewhere other than L.A.],” an Eastern Conference general manager told Bucher. “PG [Paul George] did. C-Webb [Chris Webber] did.”
Leonard reportedly prefers to play for one of the teams in Los Angeles. There have 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.
ESPN reporter Chris Haynes reported that the Philadelphia 76ers, who have held discussions with the Spurs regarding a Leonard trade, are the only East Coast team Leonard would consider re-signing with.
As expected, the Spurs are asking for a grand offer in return for Leonard, a two-time Defensive Player of the Year and a Finals MVP.
Philadelphia is willing to build a package around Dario Šarić, Robert Covington and multiple draft picks to acquire Leonard. They will not include Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid or Markelle Fultz.
Yahoo Sports reported the Spurs asked for Šarić, Covington, Fultz and three future first-round picks from the Sixers in exchange for Leonard.
If the Sixers decide to include Fultz, a deal could be agreed upon, as it will be difficult for another team to top their offer.
The Lakers have spoken to the Spurs as well, but are unwilling to part ways with Brandon Ingram and Kyle Kuzma, two players San Antonio want in return for Leonard.