The chances of Kawhi Leonard getting traded this summer has gone up according to several reports. The Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics remain to be the top two teams most likely to get the All-Star small forward, but the Washington Wizards have emerged as a possible landing spot as well, reports FanSided’s Sir Charles In Charge.
Leonard, 26, continues to be apart from the San Antonio Spurs at this time as the team fights for a spot in the postseason. The report said that the relationship between player and club have not improved and that the two sides “appear to be heading towards an ugly divorce” in the coming offseason.
In a recent episode of ESPN’s NBA Countdown, Jalen Rose claimed that Leonard “has played his final game with the Spurs” and could be headed to the Celtics this summer. Meanwhile, co-analyst Paul Pierce, who was in the same program, agreed but opined that it is the Lakers that might snatch the two-time All-Star.
While the NBA’s most decorated clubs continue to be linked to the former NBA Finals MVP, Sir Charles In Charge’s Dan Knitzer believes that several other teams also have a chance on getting Leonard, and those teams include the Wizards.
Knitzer said that a package comprising of Otto Porter Jr. and Kelly Oubre Jr. might be enough for Washington to get Leonard from San Antonio. He noted that the Spurs may have to add $3 million more worth of salary to make the deal possible, which is doable “right before the draft begins.”
The reporter continued that San Antonio may initially ask for Bradley Beal instead of Porter, but Washington would instantly turn down any trade involving their top two stars.
As for the Spurs, getting Porter and Oubre makes sense because the team would get a veteran three-point shooter who contributes consistently while also snagging a young and athletic 3-and-D player that plays on both ends of the court, Knitzer said.
Meanwhile, the Wizards get their own Big Three of Leonard, Beal, and John Wall should the suggested trade pushes through. Washington gets a much-needed boost on defense with the two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year on their side, plus a player with legitimate championship experience that could finally turn them into one of the Eastern Conference’s elite teams.