Published: Wed, July 18, 2018
Sport | By Patty Hardy

Blazers have engaged Spurs in Kawhi Leonard trade talks

Blazers have engaged Spurs in Kawhi Leonard trade talks

The Toronto Raptors have reportedly emerged as the favorites to land San Antonio Spurs All-Star forward Kawhi Leonard, since the Lakers and Sixers have allegedly lost interest in a potential trade.

"The Toronto Raptors, I think they're in the driver's seat for Kawhi", Windhorst shared.

And that could see Toronto willing to break up the team that carried them to No 1 spot in the East past year by sacrificing one of their two All-Star players, most likely DeMar DeRozan.

Leonard has reportedly been adamant that he would like to play in Los Angeles for the Lakers of Clippers once he hits the open market in 2019, and he hasn't expressed any intention to sign long-term with the Raptors if a deal is reached for his services.

Lowe, by the way, said he'd offer DeMar DeRozan, Pascal Siakam, and a first-round pick, while Windhorst (hilariously) demanded OG Anunoby as the podcast went off the air.

From the Raptors side of things, they would likely just be renting Leonard unless they can make an overwhelming impression on him.

According to ESPN's Chris Haynes, Leonard isn't too keen on playing for the franchise north of the border. Leonard is one of 35 players named to the US national team roster.

Second, if he plays, it's an opportunity for Leonard to demonstrate he's fully recovered (or close to it) after missing all but nine games last season to do a nagging right quad injury - the diagnosis, timelines and subsequent treatment of which is centre stage in the Spurs-Leonard divorce proceedings. We won 59 games a year ago without Kawhi Leonard, he's better than DeMar DeRozan'.

Three years after his last contract, the disgruntled star is now eligible for a super-max extension - five years and $221 million - but only with the Spurs. Meanwhile, an Eastern Conference team is getting all the chatter - the Toronto Raptors.

The report also indicates the Lakers are not prioritizing a trade for Leonard, opting instead to trust he will want to join them in free agency next summer.

There has been little to no public news since the meeting, except for Spurs general manager R.C. Buford publicly stating on draft night that the franchise had every intention to keep Leonard in San Antonio.

The Spurs have likewise been apprehensive in searching for a deal, reports Wojnarowski. In a vacuum, that would be well worth it, but as the scenario continues to unfold the obvious risks of giving up that much can be hazardous.

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