The Kawhi Leonard watch has begun in earnest with the Los Angeles Lakers one of the teams tied to the star. A trade could be forthcoming if the San Antonio Spurs honor Leonard’s request to be dealt.
According to ESPN, Kawhi Leonard has a preference to play in Los Angeles, most likely for the Lakers. Leonard would be all for a trade sending him to the Lakers.
Despite Kawhi Leonard’s reported interest in playing for the Lakers, there are some concerns about the health of the Spurs’ star. According to the Los Angeles Times, it is the reason why the Lakers have yet to make a trade proposal for Leonard.
Kawhi Leonard only played nine games for the San Antonio Spurs this past season. Leonard was hobbled with several soft tissue injuries throughout the year.
There are no reports regarding Kawhi Leonard and his recovery from those injuries. Any team which acquires him in a trade would have to have some assurances regarding Leonard’s health status. Leonard’s health and free agency status for next summer will also have limitations on the trade market for him.
Not many NBA teams will be able to re-sign Kawhi Leonard due to his preferences. That will restrict several teams from offering a lot in return for him.
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) June 15, 2018
Kawhi Leonard clearly is not motivated by money. Staying with the San Antonio Spurs puts him in position to get a supermax contract. Leonard’s inspiration could simply be comfort.
Kawhi Leonard grew up in Los Angeles where he rooted for the Lakers. It only seems natural that he would want to play for his hometown team. What comes with playing for the Lakers, however, is what Kawhi Leonard has avoided throughout his NBA career — a spotlight.
No NBA team speaks showtime, glamour, and glitz like the Los Angeles Lakers. How Kawhi Leonard handles being a part of the Lakers show must be considered. Nevertheless, the disgruntled Spurs star is ideal to finalize the Lakers rebuild.
The Los Angeles Lakers have always been a star-driven team. Kawhi Leonard, despite his low profile, is one of the NBA’s best when healthy.
Kawhi Leonard would become the Lakers’ first marquee player since the 2016 retirement of Kobe Bryant. By the time Bryant retired, he was not the player that he once was. Most importantly, the Lakers were not a factor in the NBA playoff picture. The Lakers are hoping to change that as soon as next season.
Acquiring Kawhi Leonard in a trade would expedite the Los Angeles Lakers’ rebuild. Trading for Leonard would all but guarantee that the Lakers would have to part ways with Brandon Ingram. It is a price the Lakers may be willing to pay in order to ensure that they are a playoff team next year.