One of the more intriguing NBA storylines to follow this summer is the San Antonio Spurs’ standoff with All-Star forward Kawhi Leonard, and whether the organization will abide to his wish of being traded to the Los Angeles Lakers.
After a recent face-to-face meeting with Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich, Leonard is said to have made it “very clear” that his desire is to play for his hometown team next season.
Despite Leonard’s dream of suiting up for the Lakers, the Spurs threw a wrench in those plans by recently shutting down Los Angeles’ first attempt to engage them in trade talks.
The Lakers aren’t alone in that department, as San Antonio has reportedly shunned other Western Conference teams interested in trading for Leonard as well, via Sam Amick of USA Today:
But in the days that followed, the Spurs wasted no time in sending this message all around the NBA: The only Western Conference team he might be playing for is theirs.
It’s hardly surprising that the Spurs appear unwilling to trade their homegrown star to an in-conference opponent, let alone a rival like the Lakers.
Leonard is widely viewed by many as the first piece to a potential Lakers’ super team. The 26-year-old would presumably entice the likes of LeBron James and Paul George to sign with Los Angeles and form the next unstoppable big three.
Whether San Antonio ultimately shifts course remains to be seen, but at the very least, they will take a patient approach in this process.
The Cleveland Cavaliers eventually came to terms in trading star point guard to the rival Boston Celtics last summer, but it didn’t come to fruition until the end of August.
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