The trade talks surrounding San Antonio Spurs-star Kawhi Leonard continue to grumble
ESPNs Adrian Wojnarowski and the San Antonio Express News "Jeff McDonald report that the Spurs engaged in trade talks with several Teams on Leonard, including the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics. Here's more from Wojnarowski:
The Spurs are obviously open to a short-term deal, but they continue to pursue a large return of assets for Leonard, a two-time first-team All-NBA player. San Antonio had hopes of repairing his tattered relationship with Leonard and eventually coming to a consolation level with the $ 219 million super-maximum contract extension. Leonard can reject his contract and become a free agent next summer.
For now, the urgency of the Lakers on July 1Free agent push for LeBron James and Paul George sets a watch on their talks with the Spurs The Spurs have long been very fascinated by Boston's trading assets, but it remains unclear how rich a Celtics package is ready to offer a long-term commitment in the summer of next year without providing a complete understanding of the long-term impact of Leonard's quad injury, Leonard said League.
In short, the Spurs are ready to pull away from Leonard, McDonald writes, and the Lakers and Celtics appear to be the most compatible trading partners at this point:
Two clubs have emerged as the most compatible trading partners: The Los Angeles Lakers Leonard's preferred target, and the Boston Celtics, whose deep reservoir of assets – including four first rounds – consists of
Cleveland, Philadelphia and the LA Clippers have also shouted a deal with Leonard, but it is unclear how much support these talks if necessary.
Although the situation could change in a matter of days or even hours, the Leonard era in San Antonio seems to be at an end.
Rival managers do not expect the Spurs to trade even with the NBA's free agency time, which opens late Saturday night.
Spurs' renewed willingness to discuss a Leonard deal could be an answer to the increased quality of offerings they receive.
The New York Times Marc Stein reports (via Twitter) that League sources indicate that Spurs are "ready" by Leonard :
This does not warrant Kawhi Leonard Going to the Lakers this week – as San Antonio could always swap it with el Pulling Somewhere and / or Things Out – but League sources say of the Spurs: "They're ready" to move on from Kawhi
The Lakers and Spurs have Wednesday reportedly held trade talks with Leonard again. ESPNs Ramona Shelburne, Adrian Wojnarowski and Brian Windhorst said Wednesday evening that despite the Spurs' attempts to make peace with their angry star, an overwhelming bid by the Lakers could trigger a deal.
Both teams also believe that a Leonard deal would "probably catch up" on LeBron James' commitment to engage as a freelance agent for the Lakers. James denied his Cleveland Cavaliers player option at 11:59 am ET on Friday to become an unrestricted free agent.