May. 02, 2018
Lakers Trade Rumors: Kawhi Leonard May End Up In Los Angeles As Reps Want SF In A Bigger Market
(Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images)
The Kawhi Leonard saga just took an interesting turn. Reports emerged that the San Antonio Spurs forward could soon request a trade, aiming to move to a bigger market.
According to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne and Michael C. Wright, the Spurs are “worried” that Leonard would soon demand a trade. What made it controversial was his camp reportedly wants him to join a larger market. Three cities were particularly mentioned: Los Angeles, New York, and Philadelphia.
Multiple league sources also told ESPN that the Spurs have grown worried that Leonard's group has an ulterior motive to fray the relationship and get Leonard traded to a larger market such as Los Angeles (Leonard's hometown) or New York or Philadelphia (Robertson lives in New Jersey).
Leonard’s agent, Mitch Frankel, and uncle, Dennis Robertson, are the player’s foremost influencers right now. The ESPN article said that they were the ones who convinced Leonard to seek a second opinion regarding his injury. According to rumors, that dynamic created the tension between Leonard and the Spurs, which still has not ceased.
The growing speculation is that Leonard may end up playing for the Los Angeles Lakers next season. However, it should be noted that the Lakers are not the only team in L.A., so fans should not put their hopes up just yet.
The Lakers do have a lot of assets to offer the Spurs, in case they indeed go after Leonard this summer. In a separate ESPN article, analyst Kevin Pelton said that a straight swap involving Leonard and Brandon Ingram could work for both clubs.
Los Angeles Lakers forward Brandon Ingram (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Realistically, though, I believe that San Antonio would ask more than just Ingram. Leonard is a former NBA Finals MVP, a two-time All-Star, and a two-time Defensive Player of the Year. He is considered as one of the top three players in the league when healthy. Adding one or two future picks and another young player would seal the deal.
The summer is indeed getting more exciting for Lakers fans. Getting Leonard would be key to landing two max salary players in the upcoming free agency period.