The latest news coming out of San Antonio is that their All-Star Small Forward Kawhi Leonard wants out of San Antonio and the top team on his wish list is the LA Lakers. On Friday afternoon, media sources began reporting that the meeting with Gregg Popovich and long time San Antonio Spurs icon Tim Duncan, with Kawhi Leonard did not go in favor of Leonard playing out his contract in San Antonio and the former NBA Finals MVP has requested to be traded.
Leonard and the Spurs organization butted heads throughout the 2017-2018 season with Leonard missing a significant amount of time after the Spurs team doctors cleared him to play last year. Leonard only played a total of nine games in the 2017-2018 season due to a thigh injury that lingered on for most of the season.
Leonard is a two time All-Star with the San Antonio Spurs and was the 2014 NBA Finals MVP. He will be one of the most sought after players in the off-season due to his ability to not only score but also the ability to play defense. Leonard was the two time NBA Defensive Player of the Year and when healthy, is one of the best players in the NBA.
Leonard is from Los Angeles and ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Kawhi favored the Lakers over the Clippers. If the Lakers were able to somehow pull off a trade to obtain Leonard, most believe they would move immediately to the top of the list to try and land LeBron James in free agency. The Lakers have also been talked about for the Paul George free agency market. If the Lakers were able to land Leonard, LeBron James and Paul George, they would without a doubt position themselves in a spot where they can compete with the Golden State Warriors and the Houston Rockets for the top spot in the Western Conference.
Another team that has shown immediate interest in Leonard is the Boston Celtics. Earlier this week, news broke that the Celtics attempted to acquire Leonard back in February prior to the NBA’s trade deadline but were unsuccessful in coming to an agreement with the San Antonio Spurs. The Celtics had one of the most dominant defenses in the NBA and the addition of the leagues two time Defensive Player of the Year would only make the Celtics a much great defensive team. If the Celtics were able to pull off a trade for Leonard, they would put on the court a quad set of Leonard, Kyrie Irving, Gordon Hayward and Jayson Tatum, which very well lead them to a NBA Championship.
One team that may surprise some people in the Kawhi Leonard trade lottery is the Sacramento Kings. The Kings have a very young team and Leonard would serve as some experience for the younger players like Buddy Hield, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Willie Cauley-Stein, De’Aaron Fox, Justin Jackson, Frank Mason, Iman Shumpert and Nigel Hayes. This team has a plethora of young talent and have made it known that they will seek out a veteran player to be the leader on the court.