Despite having a one-on-one conversation with Coach Gregg Popovich, Kawhi Leonard still wants out of the San Antonio Spurs and reportedly prefers to be traded to the Los Angeles Lakers. The disgruntled superstar also informed all NBA teams interested in making a deal with the Spurs that he will sign with L.A. as an unrestricted free agent in 2019. In need of a legitimate superstar, the Lakers are expected to make a move to add Leonard to their team this summer.
They currently have a plethora of trade assets to convince the Spurs to engage in a trade negotiation. The Spurs could demand a trade package centered on Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, or Brandon Ingram in exchange for Kawhi Leonard. According to Ramona Shelburne of ESPN, the Lakers tried to contact the Spurs about a potential trade centered on Leonard.
Unfortunately, the Spurs reportedly show no interest in having a dialogue with the Lakers. One source told ESPN that the Spurs “basically shut the door” on the Lakers.
“No players were discussed and, as ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Thursday, there has been no further dialogue between the teams. Leonard has expressed a preference to be traded to Los Angeles, specifically the Lakers. However, when the Lakers called to express interest in Leonard, they were given the distinct impression the Spurs had no interest in doing business with them, according to sources.”
Sources: Lakers contact the Spurs to express interest in star forward Kawhi Leonard. Story: https://t.co/HXuRArSA66— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 21, 2018
According to Chris Sheridan of Get More Sports, the Spurs won’t trade Kawhi Leonard to the Lakers or other Western Conference teams. San Antonio must be thinking that if Leonard joins the Lakers they will become an immediate threat for them in the Western Conference. The Lakers are not only keeping an eye on Leonard, but they are also linked to other NBA superstars like LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Paul George of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
As of now, the Spurs are still doing their best to resolve the issue with Leonard. However, Leonard’s situation is very different with LaMarcus Aldridge, who also had problems with the Spurs last summer. The 26-year-old small forward is reportedly “angry” over how the Spurs handled his quadriceps injury and remains “irate” about the comments made by Tony Parker and Gregg Popovich during the 2017-18 NBA season.
The Spurs told NBA teams interested in acquiring Leonard to present an offer when they make a call. However, they didn’t give any hint about what type of trade package can convince them to make a deal.