NBA Trade Rumors: Lakers, Spurs Never Held ‘Serious’ Talks For Kawhi Leonard
Kawhi Leonard
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

While the Los Angeles Lakers were preparing for the 2018 NBA Draft and start of free agency, they also were involved in a scenario that could have seen Kawhi Leonard fall into their laps. After a season in which he was limited to nine games, Leonard reportedly asked to be traded.

His relationship with the San Antonio Spurs became fractured over a difference of opinion and evaluation of a right quadriceps injury Leonard suffered. The San Antonio medical staff cleared Leonard to return, but he didn’t feel healthy and took his rehab process away from the team.

Subsequent comments made by Gregg Popovich and Tony Parker reportedly played a significant role in Leonard seeking a trade. His preferred destination was believed to be the Lakers, who understandably had mutual interest.

Aside from not simply wanting to give in to Leonard’s request, the Spurs didn’t show much of an inclination to trade him to the Lakers. Initial trade talks between the two teams weren’t said to have gained any traction.

While that was followed by a report that suggested progress was made, the Lakers more recently cooled in their pursuit of Leonard. On Wednesday, the Spurs completed a trade with the Toronto Raptors, with DeMar DeRozan representing the centerpiece of their return.

As for the Lakers, though they were interested, talks with the Spurs didn’t advance much, according to Chris Mannix of Yahoo Sports:

L.A. bid on Leonard but talks never rose to a serious level, a source familiar with the discussions told Yahoo Sports.

In addition to the Lakers, the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers also had dialogue with the Spurs over a potential Leonard trade. The three teams were seemingly turned off by the high asking price for the 27-year-old.

Particularly the Lakers, who reportedly believe they are in the lead to sign Leonard if or when he becomes a free agent in 2019. San Antonio reportedly sought Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, Josh Hart and draft compensation from Los Angeles in exchange for Leonard.

While signs point to him remaining insistent on signing with the Lakers next year, Raptors general manager Masai Ujiri is comfortable with the challenge of needing to persuade Leonard into re-signing.

Medium Large is looking to add motivated individuals with big dreams and a big appetite for success to our LakersNation.com direct sales team based in Los Angeles or Orange County. If you love sports, know digital sales, and can throw your weight behind an aggressive commission based opportunity than we would love to talk to you. Please apply at: http://mediumlarge.la/?jobs=1576. If you meet our criteria we will be in touch!

You May Also Like

NBA Rumors: Former Lakers Head Physical Therapist Judy Seto Returning For 2019-20 NBA Season

During the 2018-19 NBA season, one major factor that prevented the Los Angeles Lakers from ending their six-year playoff…

NBA Rumors: 76ers, Kyle Lowry Have Mutual Interest Ahead Of Upcoming Free Agency

The Toronto Raptors were recently swept out of the second round of the playoffs by the Cleveland Cavaliers, marking the end of their season…

NBA Trade Rumors: Lakers Interested In Wayne Ellington, Terrence Ross

Come Saturday, the Los Angeles Lakers and all 30 NBA teams will be able to trade players who signed a new contract during this past summer’s free agency…

Lakers Rumors: L.A. ‘Not Frontrunners For Kevin Durant’ In Free Agency

With 26 games remaining in the 2015-16 NBA season, the Los Angeles Lakers are headed to the draft lottery for the third consecutive season…