Los Angeles Lakers, San Antonio Spurs re-engage in Kawhi Leonard trade talks


ESPN reported Wednesday the Celtics, Cleveland Cavaliers, Philadelphia 76ers, and Los Angeles Clippers have all made offers for Leonard, who reportedly requested a trade earlier in June. Team doctors cleared Leonard to play late in the season, but he chose to sit out until being medically cleared by his personal medical team and representatives.

"Absent the Celtics' willingness to move key young pieces or the Spurs deciding to accept less than what a Leonard without medical or contractual issues is worth", Bulpett wrote, "there seems to be nothing to indicate an agreement". However, the Spurs are believed to want more than what the Boston Celtics and Indiana Pacers received, because of the LeBron James factor.

Acquiring a player with the skill set of Leonard certainly won't be easy since the Sixers would most likely have to give a lot up in a potential trade, but if it gives them a better chance of competing in the Eastern Conference, it may be worth the risk.

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However, the report indicates that the Spurs might want more for the two-time All-Star.

That kind of mentality actually may be reassuring for Lakers fans - perhaps the team is not so hellbent to get James that they would sacrifice young players like Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, and Josh Hart or future draft picks. Contracts can't be officially signed until Jul 6. Nevertheless, ESPN's Stephen A. Smith said Thursday that James "reached out to Kevin Durant via text, from what I'm told, about coming to Los Angeles". Thus, the Spurs may have realized they need to get something valuable for Kawhi while they still can.

Regardless of who may or may not join James in free agency, OddsShark reported last week that the Lakers are heavily favored to sign him at 4-13, while the Cavs are second at 13-4. If Boston thinks Irving could leave in free agency next summer and is at least somewhat confident it can retain Leonard, a trade might be worth it. Meanwhile, James has been spending some of his recent time in apparent consternation over making a jump - off a high, rocky perch into water, while vacationing with his family.