Published: Wed, June 20, 2018
Sport | By Patty Hardy

Latest Kawhi Leonard trade rumors: Cleveland, Phoenix reportedly now in mix

Latest Kawhi Leonard trade rumors: Cleveland, Phoenix reportedly now in mix

"Any deal with the Spurs for Leonard would mean trading draft picks and younger players".

For that reason, both the Lakers and Clippers are believed to have concerns about going all in for Leonard after he practically missed an entire season with his injury, according to the L.A. Times. There have been indications Gregg Popovich does not want to trade Leonard to the Lakers, and that's probably ramped up now as they may eye building a super-team with LeBron James and/or Paul George to go with Leonard.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski‏ reports that Leonard wants to play in his native Los Angeles - preferably for the Lakers - but of course the Spurs are not obligated to deal him there. The Cavs would have Leonard on their roster for the 2018-2019 National Basketball Association season, but what about beyond that?

Clearly, Hill isn't good enough to be the centerpiece in any major trade, but he was Cleveland's best player behind LeBron James and Love for the second half of the season.

Leonard also has just one year on his contract, giving the disgruntled superstar a say in where he'll go, as he can threaten to leave a given team after one year. Sheridan speculates that Terry Rozier could headline a package of players whom Danny Ainge would send to San Antonio, but the C's would have to make the money work if a potential trade didn't include one of their $20-plus million players. IN sent Paul George to Oklahoma City, and the forward could be headed elsewhere in free agency after spending just one season with the Thunder. Leonard played in just nine regular-season games for the Spurs in 2017-18 and did not play in the postseason either. With two Defensive Player of the Year awards, he would significantly improve what was one of the league's worst defenses in 2018.

Leonard, a one-time NBA Finals MVP, made himself unavailable for the Spurs during the 2018 playoffs, despite hopes from within the camp that he would have recovered from a lengthy injury by then. James would have to commit to returning to Cleveland for any chance of a Leonard-Cleveland trade to be possible.

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