NBA Trade Rumors: Kawhi Leonard To Inform Teams He Intends To Sign With Lakers Or Clippers In 2019 Free Agency
Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

With the 2018 NBA Draft quickly approaching on June 21, the San Antonio Spurs are in unfamiliar territory. As Kawhi Leonard does not want to return to the team that originally traded for him in the 2011 NBA Draft, he reportedly wants to play in his hometown, preferably for the Los Angeles Lakers.

Since the initial report, the Spurs have not addressed the situation in hopes of meeting with Leonard at some point during the offseason.

After dealing with a similar situation with LaMarcus Aldridge last year, head coach Gregg Popovich met with the 32-year-old where they were able to resolve their issues. With Popovich not ‘overcoaching’ Aldridge during the 2017-18 NBA season, he went on to have his best season in San Antonio, averaging 23.1 points and 8.5 rebounds.

Armed with a five-year, $219 million supermax contract extension, Popovich reportedly traveled to San Diego, CA to meet with his disgruntled superstar, according to Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:

However, according to Adrian Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne of ESPN, Leonard still has intentions of signing with Los Angeles in 2019 free agency:

Leonard wants a trade to Los Angeles, preferably the Lakers over the Clippers, league sources said. He has privately maintained that he no longer wants to play in San Antonio, and will eventually alert rival teams considering trades for him that his intentions are to sign in Los Angeles — preferably with the Lakers — when he can become a free agent in 2019, league sources said.

Although there are obstacles, this latest update bodes well for president of basketball operations Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka. With a competitive young core in place, Los Angeles is becoming an attractive destination again for All-Star players like Leonard.

However, similar to the Paul George situation, there are risks if the Lakers are not able to land Leonard in the offseason via trade. Despite George’s intentions being clear with the Indiana Pacers, the Oklahoma City Thunder still took a chance on him and appear to be in a position to re-sign him after building a strong relationship.

As part of our efforts to help you understand how we handle the personal information you share with us, and in preparation for the new European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), we’ve updated our Privacy & Cookies Policy. The updated Privacy & Cookies Policy will take effect on May 22, 2018. By using our services on or after that date, you’ll be agreeing to our updated Privacy & Cookies Policy. We recommend that you read our updated Privacy & Cookies Policy in full.

You May Also Like

NBA Odds: Betting On Which Team Advances Against The Lakers

In late July twenty-two teams and staff arrived in Orlando, Florida to…

Lakers Rumors And News Recap: Mike D’Antoni Remains Optimistic

With the Los Angeles Lakers moving forward with Mike D’Antoni, the veteran…

NBA Rumors: Kings, Nets Discussing Potential Deron Williams Trade

Now that Rajon Rondo has officially been moved, it seems as if…

Adam Silver: NBA ‘Not In Any Position To Make Any Decisions’ Amid 2019-20 Season Hiatus

Since March 11, the NBA has been navigating through uncharted waters as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) that has…