The Los Angeles Lakers stood pat last summer when Paul George made it clear he wanted to be traded from the Indiana Pacers, and now they face a similar scenario with Kawhi Leonard during this year’s free agency.
Leonard recently informed the San Antonio Spurs of his wish to be traded, and it’s believed he identified the Lakers as his preferred destination. Like the Pacers with George, the Spurs aren’t in a rush to give into Leonard’s request.
There isn’t yet a significant amount of pressure on the Spurs considering Leonard has a full year remaining on his contract. Additionally, San Antonio can present him with a super max contract extension.
But because of Leonard’s resistance to repairing the fractured relationship, it’s believed the Spurs are now prepared to part with the 26-year-old.
Although Leonard has reportedly made it clear to other teams he would sign with the Lakers as a 2019 free agent, the likes of the Clippers and Philadelphia 76ers are among the teams to have shown interest.
According to Jabari Young of the San Antonio Express-News, Leonard would consider re-signing with the 76ers if they were to complete a trade with the Spurs:
— Jabari Young (@JabariJYoung) July 1, 2018
Heading into a meeting with LeBron James, Philadelphia reportedly has confidence they can convince the 14-time All-Star to sign with them because of the likelihood they would then acquire Leonard.
The Lakers and 76ers were said to have placed some pressure on the Spurs to make a trade prior to the start of free agency, because of the James factor. Playing the waiting game with George ultimately didn’t pay off for L.A., but whether they would part with the necessary assets in a trade this time around is unclear.
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