Kawhi Leonard has been one of the most intriguing players to follow all season long. He struggled with injury issues early on in the season but later in the season, it seemed like he simply didn’t want to play for the San Antonio Spurs. They missed him in the playoffs and were easily eliminated by the Golden State Warriors in the first round.
According to a report from ESPN, the Spurs are worried that Leonard may be wanting a trade this offseason. Three teams that were mentioned as a potential landing spot for Leonard were the Los Angeles Lakers, Philadelphia 76ers, and New York Knicks.
Last season with the Spurs, Leonard only played in nine games. He ended up averaging 16.2 points per game, while also chipping in 4.7 rebounds and 2.3 assists. Back in the 2016-17 season, Leonard averaged 25.5 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 3.5 assists per game.
San Antonio would love to keep Leonard and build around him moving forward. Just this past season, Leonard mentioned that he would love to finish his career with the Spurs. That may be changing heading into the offseason.
All three of the teams mentioned in the report could use a player like Leonard. He would be the face of the franchise for both the Lakers and Knicks and would make the 76ers the easy favorite in the Eastern Conference. Any team that wants to acquire him will have to pay a major price.
Kawhi Leonard is one of the best five players in the NBA. He says he’s hurt and would play if he could. Why don’t people listen? @mikecwright and I spent a few months trying to find out. https://t.co/EgfSU2xNBo— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) May 1, 2018
Only time will tell what the outcome of the Leonard situation will be in San Antonio. He does not seem to want to stick around with the Spurs unless head coach Gregg Popovich will make some changes to his system. It is a strange request given the amount of success that Leonard has had under Popovich.
The upcoming NBA offseason is going to be entertaining. There are quite a few teams with money to spend and a few very good players that will be available in free agency. Add in star players being available via trade and things will get even more interesting.
Expect to hear Leonard’s name mentioned in many rumors this offseason. San Antonio may not end up trading him, but it seems very likely that they will gauge his value on the trade market.