While Thursday means the 2018 NBA Draft has at last arrived, the day could be overtaken by potential trades. Particularly if the San Antonio Spurs elect to deal Kawhi Leonard, who reportedly is interested in making his way to Los Angeles.
Although Leonard is said to be open to playing for the Lakers or Clippers, it’s believed is preference is in joining the former. Leonard conceivably could be a second or third cog if the Lakers are successful in signing one of or both LeBron James and Paul George.
But getting the Spurs to agree to a trade with the Lakers doesn’t figure to be an easy proposition. L.A. may have bolstered their case on Wednesday by acquiring a draft pick (No. 39 overall) from the Philadelphia 76ers.
Regardless, the Spurs aren’t yet to the point of shopping Leonard, nor have they engaged with the Lakers in trade talks for the All-Star forward, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski:
Spurs are willing listeners on Kawhi Leonard trade proposals, but haven't been proactive in chasing down offers, league sources tell ESPN. For now, make an offer and they'll add it to their board. Spurs and Lakers have had no dialogue on Leonard.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 21, 2018
This corroborates with a previous report that indicated San Antonio was willing to field trade offers without actively shopping Leonard.
Prior to speculation ramping up, it was suggested the Lakers would hesitate to potentially trade for Leonard because of a belief they could sign him outright as a free agent next summer. Of course, that hardly comes with any guarantee.
Leonard is eligible for the five-year, $219 million supermax contract from the Spurs, but they might not be quick to make such an offer considering the 26-year-old only appeared in nine games this past season.
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