Even though Paul George decided to re-sign with the Oklahoma City Thunder, there is a still a big-name, two-way wing who could be had for the Los Angeles Lakers in Kawhi Leonard.
The Lakers and San Antonio Spurs have been in talks on a potential trade, and now with George no longer an option, some believe L.A. could really turn up the heat on acquiring Leonard. Though, the Lakers reportedly cooled in their pursuit leading up to free agency.
It is believed that Leonard would prefer to join the Lakers, but nothing is for certain. This saga with George, another Southern California native, proved just that. The Lakers aren’t alone in their pursuit of Leonard, however, as there is some serious competition out there, including their fellow Staples Center brethren.
According to ESPN’s Chris Haynes, the Clippers are still planning on making a serious pursuit for Leonard:
ESPN Sources: Los Angeles Clippers haven’t abandoned pursuit of acquiring San Antonio Spurs’ All-Star Kawhi Leonard. He remains a high offseason priority for LAC.
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) July 1, 2018
The question now becomes which team could offer up the best package in a potential Leonard deal. In Tobias Harris, the Clippers have the best current player, but they can’t offer the different level of prospects that the Lakers have in guys such as Brandon Ingram and Kyle Kuzma.
The Clippers do have an ace in the hole of sorts as Jerry West is still involved in their front office and he is known for pulling off trades like this. Whether he can out-maneuver his old team remains to be seen.
It didn’t take long for free agency to get crazy in 2018 and there are still deals to be made, outside of normal signings, that can turn things up even more.
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