According to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne, the Lakers and Spurs had initial discussions on a trade for Kawhi Leonard but according to one source, they “had the door shut” on them.
There has been speculation that the Spurs would be unwilling to help form a potential super team on the Lakers. However, with Leonard’s insistence that he will sign with the Lakers in 2019, it may limit their options for a potential trade as other teams will have to weigh the risks of a one-year rental.
According to Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports, the Lakers have reached out to the San Antonio Spurs to express interest in trading for All-Star Kawhi Leonard. According to Charania, no proposals have been made.
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The NBA offseason is in full swing and no story has had as much exposure as Kawhi Leonard’s trade request from the San Antonio Spurs. The superstar forward met with head coach Gregg Popovich this week where he reiterated his desire to move on from San Antonio and is reportedly deadset on a move to Los Angeles, with the Lakers being his preferred destination.
Nevertheless, trade talks have not quite gained steam, yet. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Spurs are listening to offers but have not actively been shopping Leonard. Additionally, the Lakers and Spurs have not yet had any dialogue on a potential trade.
Leonard’s future in San Antonio seems very questionable. His desire to play for the Lakers may scare many teams off from trading for the 2019 free agent. However, Leonard is a good enough player that teams will take risks to acquire, making this a potential repeat of last year’s Paul George situation.
Nevertheless, the Lakers seem to be doing their due diligence. There are injury concerns with Leonard and trading assets for him without the guarantee of adding superstars to join him (i.e. George and LeBron James) would be hasty.
These trade negotiations may last quite a while as teams will attempt to time the draft, free agency, and trade requests to make big splashes this summer.