Trade rumors mentioning San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard continue to emerge even as reports are out that the club is planning to sign him to a supermax extension worth more than $200 million this summer. According to FanSided’s Sir Charles In Charge, the Milwaukee Bucks have become one of the latest teams linked to the two-time NBA All-Star.
Despite the rumors, Air Alamo reported that the Spurs are set to offer Leonard a massive contract extension that would place him in equal status with other supermax players such as Golden State’s Stephen Curry and Houston’s James Harden. The deal is said to be for five years and worth over $200 million, which would pay the Los Angeles native almost $50 million in the 2023-2024 season.
While the contract indeed looks too good to pass up for Leonard, there are speculations that the former NBA Finals MVP is “unhappy” about his current situation in San Antonio and may request a trade in the offseason.
ESPN analyst Jalen Rose recently said that Leonard “has played his final game with the Spurs.” The former NBA star claimed that Leonard is “not going to be signing an extension this summer” after the player chose to leave the squad at the most crucial stage of the season. There were reports saying that Leonard had decided to continue the rehab for his ailing leg instead of returning to the basketball court despite being cleared to play by San Antonio’s medical team.
With that, Sir Charles In Charge’s Dan Knitzer suggested three trade scenarios that could happen in the offseason involving Leonard. One of his suggestions indicated that Milwaukee could offer the Spurs a trade package including Khris Middleton, Malcolm Brogdon, and Sterling Brown for the two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year.
Like Leonard, both Middleton and Brown are set to become free agents in the summer of 2019 with the latter entering restricted free agency. Middleton’s salary takes a cap hit of $13 million next season while Brogdon’s would only be $1.5 million. The rookie Brown was added as a filler to match salaries, but could be a “decent 10th man” as well, the report said.
While getting Leonard may seem like a redundancy for the Bucks as the team already has Giannis Antetokounmpo playing in the same position, Knitzer said that Milwaukee is bound to have a huge boost on their “inexplicably bad defense” should the suggested trade push through.
On the other hand, the Spurs get two “cerebral” players in Middleton and Brogdon, which are said to be the type of players who are ideal under head coach Gregg Popovich’s system.