As Kawhi Leonard reportedly does not want to remain with the San Antonio Spurs for the 2018-19 NBA season, the Los Angeles Lakers have emerged as his preferred destination.
With a young core established via the draft, president of basketball operations Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka can put together an attractive trade package. When healthy, Leonard is widely considered the league’s best two-way player.
However, after appearing in just nine games this past season due to a right quadriceps injury and no clarity regarding the situation, there are a lot of questions that need to be answered.
According to Tania Ganguli of L.A. Times, the Lakers and Clippers both have concern about the All-Star’s health:
Neither the Lakers nor Clippers have had trade discussions with the Spurs, as both teams have concerns about the severity of Leonard’s injury.
Throughout the 2017-18 NBA season, there were conflicting reports about Leonard’s injury. While the Spurs were confident the 26-year-old would return to the court at some point, he ultimately never made his way back.
Although there are obstacles in the Lakers trading for Leonard, this ultimately bodes well for the storied franchise. Along with the off-the-court opportunities, the on-court product is improving and Los Angeles is becoming an attractive destination for free agents.
And if the Lakers ultimately decide against trading for Leonard, they may still be in position to pursue him as a free agent next summer.
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