Cavs in mix for Spurs' Leonard

by Steven Clarke June 22, 2018, 3:08
Cavs in mix for Spurs' Leonard

Kawhi Leonard no longer wants to play for the San Antonio Spurs, according to reports out Friday.

Yahoo Sports and the San Antonio Express-News first reported Leonard's hope for a trade. Los Angeles is Leonard's preferred destination and he'd like to go to the Lakers, per ESPN.

Leonard's relationship with the Spurs became frayed over the previous year regarding the handling of his injuries.

The biggest story of the 2018 National Basketball Association offseason might be where LeBron James is headed in free agency.

"You've got players questioning whether or not he was legitimately hurt, or whatever the case may be when they confronted him led by Tony Parker and those other guys". Leonard spent most of the second half of the season rehabbing his injury in NY, where his medical team was based and where he trained with Spurs staffers. With that in mind, Trader Danny Ainge will want to hang on to his draft picks and players if he doesn't think Kawhi is guaranteed to stick around, and the Spurs will probably turn down anything but Boston's best offer.

Marks had the Sixers giving up Robert Covington, Markelle Fultz, and the No. 10 pick in the draft in exchange for Leonard and Derrick White. Boston has young players like Jaylen Brown, Semi Ojeleye, and Terry Rozier they could trade. Leonard plays a lot like Kobe Bryant with the mid-range game as one of his strengths and his defense is unmatched. After all of the trouble Leonard has caused for the Spurs, they could both trade him to a place he would hate AND get some valuable assets in return.

The New York Knicks have the least to offer of any team on this list, but they can offer the biggest market and a team that has been beyond desperate for success for decades.

The flight riskThe severity of Kawhi Leonard's injury remains unknown. A deal that sends Ball, Kyle Kuzma and Deng to the Spurs would have to involve a third team to take on Joffrey Lauvergne's contract to match money but it could work.

The Sixers might not be willing to part with Markelle Fultz at the nadir of his value.

The Spurs' front office and Leonard's representatives have been in communication since the season ended, and Leonard has been in contact with coach Gregg Popovich, league sources said. The Grizzlies will most likely be sellers at the trade deadline this year and could move Leonard, if they so chose, and perhaps get a haul of draft picks or multiple assets.


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