Oklahoma City Thunder center Enes Kanter (11) drives to the basket between San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard (2) and guard Danny Green (14) during the third quarter in game six of the second round of the NBA Playoffs at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Ultimately, this trade could transform the Lakers into instant contenders in the Western Conference, if they can net LeBron and Paul George, and guys like Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram, and Lonzo Ball continue to develop.
Leonard has become uncomfortable with any future with the Spurs - because of overall mistrust stemming from the organization's handling of his quadriceps injury during the past year - and is prepared to move on immediately, league sources said.
Like other teams that have expressed interest, the Cavaliers face a tough task of assembling a trade package to acquire Leonard. In fact, on paper, the Lakers look like one of the more likely destinations for Leonard because of the amount of expendable young players that have a ton of potential that would make the loss of Leonard a little less painful.
In addition to trying to get Leonard to sign a long-term extension, the Sixers would have to give up a lot for him. A significant trade was made on draft night in 2017, with Jimmy Butler going to the Minnesota Timberwolves, and Leonard could be the big name on the move this year.
Leonard was also absent from the Spurs bench during the first-round match-up with the Golden State Warriors.
For the Knicks, the question will beckon: How much are they willing to give up for an MVP candidate who plays elite defense, but also commands a hefty price?
A video posted to Juse Williams' Facebook page Friday shows him burning a Kawhi Leonard jersey after reports surfaced.
Leonard could take up a five-year $219million supermax contract were he to stay with the Spurs despite playing just nine games last season following lengthy injury complaints.
Leonard is from the area and trains in Southern California during the offseason, but the Spurs have not been directly notified any request from Leonard or his advisors.
The biggest story of the 2018 National Basketball Association offseason might be where LeBron James is headed in free agency. Yet, that was to come on the heels of a meeting between Leonard and head coach Gregg Popovich.