Spurs reportedly have ‘little interest’ in trading Kawhi Leonard to Lakers
Kawhi Leonard may prefer to join the Los Angeles Lakers if the San Antonio Spurs grant him his wish by trading him in the coming weeks, but that does not mean the star forward is going to get his wish.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that the Spurs’ interest in trading Leonard to the Lakers will likely be the same as the Indiana Pacers’ level of interest was in working out a Paul George trade with L.A., and that is very low.
Indiana had little interest in Paul George trade w/ Lakers — and that'll be case for Spurs too. Boston gives Spurs best building blocks of assets — one of young forwards (likely Jaylen Brown), its own 18 pick/19 protected Kings pick, etc. Lonzo to Spurs? Don't hold your breath.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 15, 2018
The Lakers don’t have a lot of draft capital, and Woj notes that they are not likely to trade point guard Lonzo Ball after just one season. The Celtics reportedly made an offer for Leonard prior to the February trade deadline, though the Spurs did not even entertain it by countering.
Now that Leonard has supposedly made up his mind, we have already heard of several teams that are going to be aggressive in pursuing him. While the Spurs may have little leverage and be faced with a similar situation to the one the Cleveland Cavaliers dealt with with Kyrie Irving last year, that does not mean they’re going to give their best player away.
Leonard doesn’t have a no-trade clause, so there’s nothing to stop the Spurs from sending him to the highest bidder. He could make trade talks more difficult by refusing to sign an extension with certain teams, but the offer will still need to be respectable. Celtics president Danny Ainge has been stock-piling assets for years to be prepared for situations like this, and that may come in handy this offseason.