As the 2018 NBA Draft gets set to begin this evening, there are quite a few rumors about potential trades. Recent reports have stated that the San Antonio Spurs are not shopping Kawhi Leonard in trade talks, but that they are listening to offers from teams that come to them. A draft night trade may not seem likely, but there is always a chance that the Spurs get an offer that they cannot deny.
According to an article by Bleacher Report projecting possible trades during the draft, the Philadelphia 76ers are a team to watch when it comes to Leonard. The article has Leonard being traded to the 76ers in exchange for Jerryd Bayless, Markelle Fultz, Dario Saric, and the No. 10 overall pick.
Philadelphia took a huge step forward in “The Process” during the 2017-18 NBA season. They were able to make it all the way to the second round of the NBA Playoffs but ended up falling to the Boston Celtics. Moving forward, the 76ers would like to bring in another star to play alongside Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid.
Leonard would be the ideal fit alongside those two young stars. His defense would give Philadelphia the type of player that can slow down superstars like LeBron James and Kevin Durant and he is capable of being the 76ers’ No. 1 scorer as well.
Last season, there was a lot of drama surrounding Leonard in San Antonio. He dealt with a nagging injury all season long and the franchise was unhappy that he continued sitting out despite the fact that they thought he could play. Leonard ended up playing in just nine regular season games, averaging 16.2 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 2.3 assists per game.
Back in 2016-17, however, Leonard averaged 25.5 points per game to go along with 5.8 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and 1.8 steals. He shot 48.5 percent from the field overall and knocked down 38.0 percent of his three-point attempts. Those are the numbers that Philadelphia would be able to expect from Leonard.
At 26-years-old, Leonard is heading into the prime of his career. The price to acquire him will be steep, but the 76ers should jump at the trade of the projected deal would actually be accepted.
It appears unlikely that a Leonard trade will go down this evening, but it certainly intriguing to think about. If he is traded, the 76ers can offer an aggressive deal for him and it would make sense for the two teams to discuss something similar to this.
Expect to hear plenty of trade rumors this evening, as quite a few teams are looking to be active during the draft.