Kawhi Leonard could be traded after the 2017-18 NBA season if reports about his strained relationship with the San Antonio Spurs are true. There will be no shortage of suitors if Leonard becomes available, but it remains to be seen what the Spurs can get for their superstar.
Andrew Sharp and Ben Golliver of Sports Illustrated discussed possible Leonard trade scenarios. According to them, the Heat could put themselves in a good position to acquire Leonard from the Spurs if they will include Justise Winslow and Josh Richardson in the trade package.
Golliver said that an offer involving Richardson and Winslow is “the right ballpark” for the two teams. He then added that he is aware fans will say that the deal is unfair in favor of the Spurs because Leonard is a two-time All-Star, and is a perennial MVP contender when healthy, while Richardson and Winslow are still developing in the league.
Leonard averaged 25.5 points and 5.8 rebounds in 74 games for the Spurs last season. He is also considered by many as the best two-way player in the league. On the other hand, Winslow is averaging 7.7 points and 2.1 assists per game this season, while Richardson is posting 13.0 points and 3.5 rebounds per game.
Sharp pointed out that teams who traded their superstars recently did not get fair value in return. It could be the same case when the Spurs decide to trade Leonard, considering the fact that the 26-year-old could also become a free agent after next season. Sharp said that the Spurs should expect to “get 50 cents on the dollar at best” in a possible Leonard trade in the offseason.
Another player mentioned in previous Leonard trade rumors involving the Heat is Miami starting center Hassan Whiteside. Omar Guerrero of Clutch Points floated a possible trade package involving Whiteside, Winslow, and a future first-round pick.
Whiteside, who is one of the best centers in the league, is averaging 14.0 points and 11.4 rebounds per game this season. However, Guerrero believes that the Spurs would turn down an offer involving Whiteside because they would not take a player with a “history of attitude issues” in a trade for their superstar.
Guerrero also added that while Winslow could benefit from a change of scenery, the 22-year-old is not an attractive trade asset at this point. The future first-round pick will also not be a 2018 pick because the Heat do not have one this year, which made Guerrero convinced that the Heat would turn down this potential proposal from Miami.