Lakers Need More Pieces Than They Have To Land Kawhi

Lakers Need More Pieces Than They Have To Land Kawhi

Yahoo Sports and the San Antonio Express-News first reported Leonard's hope for a trade. Playing only nine games, Leonard went down again which would end up being his final game played in the season because of a thigh injury.

But ESPN pundit Smith has blasted Leonard - who could also leave via free agency in 12 months' time if he opts out of the a year ago of his current deal - for his actions, accusing him of wrongly dressing up a long-held desire to go to LA. Needless to say this will be one of the most watched storylines of the summer as acquiring him would be the huge move the Lakers need to get to the next level. The source suggested that the Spurs' decision to make public that Leonard was cleared to play essentially "hung him out to dry". Ultimately, this trade could transform the Lakers into instant contenders in the Western Conference, if they can net LeBron and Paul George, and guys like Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram, and Lonzo Ball continue to develop.

Meanwhile, the Spurs will be acquiring two young and talented players that could help them reshape their future. While San Antonio was in the playoffs, losing in the first round to eventual repeat champion Golden State, Leonard was rehabbing in NY - which meant that Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, when asked for the situation, deferred all comment to "Kawhi and his group".

The Spurs-Leonard fallout is one of the wildest in recent memory, with a lingering right-quadriceps injury and confusion over how to rehab it driving a wedge between the two sides during the season. Boston has young players like Jaylen Brown, Semi Ojeleye, and Terry Rozier they could trade. For Brooklyn, bowing out of the Leonard sweepstakes and allowing other teams to duke it out is their best course of action.

Kawhi Leonard will be an unrestricted free agent after the 2019-2020 season.

The Sixers might not be willing to part with Markelle Fultz at the nadir of his value. The team could easily hold onto Kawhi if they don't see a trade that pleases them enough, after all the team proved that they would be able to perform without him, at least in the regular season. However, the Spurs have the best shooting coach in history in Chip Engelland and arguably the best head coach in history in Gregg Popovich.

Related Articles