The Los Angeles Lakers just can’t escape the NBA trade rumor mill this year, with a new report that the Lakers could be among the frontrunners to land a dissatisfied Kawhi Leonard should he demand a trade out of San Antonio.
The relationship between Leonard and the Spurs front office appears to be increasingly fractured, and though the team has said publicly that they are looking forward to his return from a contentious injury rehab, there are rumblings that Leonard could be on a different team next year. If that should happen, the Los Angeles Lakers may be among the most likely destinations.
SB Nation has been reporting that the Los Angeles native has some desire to play for his hometown team, especially if the tensions with the Spurs drag out even longer. Now, a new report from the outlet puts the Lakers as one of the most likely teams in the running for Leonard.
The sports betting agency Bovada has the Clippers as the most likely to land Leonard, but the Philadelphia 76ers and the Los Angeles Lakers would be close in the running. The Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers could also be bidders for his services, the outlet noted.
But to many, the Los Angeles Lakers would be the most intriguing destination for Kawhi Leonard. The Lakers have been preparing for years for this free agent class, shifting around salary to enable them to make a run at one or more of the big names up for grabs this year. There have long been rumors that LeBron James wants to move to Los Angeles, where he has an offseason home and could end up joining fellow free agent Paul George. If the Lakers could make these moves and add Leonard as well, they would likely vault to Western Conference frontrunners.
It is not clear exactly how Kawhi Leonard would fit in, but if he does end up on the trade block, it’s likely that the Lakers would at least take a look at the multi-talented big man. The NBA rumors surrounding Kawhi Leonard are still very general, however, and there is no indication what the San Antonio Spurs could be asking for in return. Given his age and abilities, it would likely be a hefty sum.