Latest posts by Sam Amico (see all)
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In the event the San Antonio Spurs look to trade Kawhi Leonard, and multiple reports indicate they might, they won’t be taking other people’s junk in return.
Instead, the Spurs would seek a major haul, likely involving another All-Star and a draft pick, for Leonard.
That may leave out teams such as the Miami Heat or Los Angeles Lakers, two teams linked to Leonard that don’t have an All-Star on the roster. (Unless the Lakers are willing to part with Brandon Ingram, and that’s not too likely.)
Here is more from Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer:
“I’ve heard from multiple NBA executives that San Antonio won’t settle for anything less than a grand-slam offer. If offers were underwhelming around the draft and the start of free agency, the Spurs might opt to let the saga drag into training camp, or even into the season. Leonard could always rekindle his relationship with the team, or return to the floor and increase his trade value.”
As the NBA-crazed world already knows, Leonard missed all but nine games last season with a quad injury. How it was handled, by both Leonard and the organization, created some rare Spurs drama — as Leonard spent significant time away from the team while rehabbing the injury.
According to Hall-of-Fame NBA reporter Peter Vecsey, the Spurs are “done” with Leonard.
The well-connected Vecsey cited a source who said Spurs coach Gregg Popovich didn’t even want Leonard attending practices.
“Keep him away from us,” Popovich would say, via Vecsey’s source. Apparently, Leonard’s uncle had been “poisoning (Leonard’s) mind against everyone.”
According to Vecsey, Leonard’s uncle “convinced Kawhi the Spurs’ medical staff were more concerned with the team’s best interests, not his.”
Meanwhile, an opposing Western Conference executive told Vecsey that “San Antonio’s hoary Holy Grail has lost its luster. I’m convinced Kawhi will be traded, but it’ll be to an Eastern team.”
Leonard, 26, is a former MVP of the Finals (2014) and two-time Defensive Player of the Year (2015 and ’16). He is eligible for a supermax contract extension.