Whether or not you believe that the Spurs will actually trade Kawhi Leonard this summer there is no denying there is a strained relationship between he and the organization.
Because of the strained relationship with the team and his absence despite being cleared by team doctors, teams around the league are salivating about a prospect of his caliber being on the market.
We have already had reports that the Clippers are prepared to make an offer for him this summer and you can now add their arena roommate the Los Angeles Lakers to that list.
From Sean Deveney of the Sporting News:
“I think they go in hard for Leonard once the season is over and once the dust settles in San Antonio,” one executive told Sporting News. “(Leonard) wants to go to LA. There probably won’t be public demands on that, but he has leverage. He is going to be a free agent (in 2019). He’s an LA guy and he can just let teams know he won’t re-sign next year with anyone but the Lakers.”
But make no mistake, the Lakers are the favorite here.
“I would say that’s the most likely thing,” another general manager told Sporting News. “He’s going to be their target any way you look at it, this summer or next summer. There’s not many other ways to explain what’s been going on with that situation other than him trying to get out of San Antonio.”
While I completely believe the Lakers and many other teams will do their due diligence in trying to acquire Leonard this summer, and I can even buy he desires to be in Los Angeles (a lot of people do), I still think the chances are low that Leonard is dealt this summer. The Lakers may be best suited to wait it out a year instead of parting with one of their young pieces like Brandon Ingram or Kyle Kuzma in order to facilitate a deal.
Overall this report feels more like planting a seed or getting a message out there by somebody’s camp than something that is likely to happen this summer.