Latest Kawhi Leonard trade rumors: Cleveland, Phoenix reportedly now in mix

Several teams lining up to trade for Kawhi Leonard

(AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)
(AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)

SAN ANTONIO – When news broke that Kawhi Leonard reportedly wanted out of San Antonio, it did not take long for more reports of teams lining up to trade for Leonard’s services.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Leonard’s preferred destination is Los Angeles, most likely with the Lakers.

Leonard is from the area and trains in Southern California during the offseason, but the Spurs have not been directly notified any request from Leonard or his advisors.

The LA Times reported the Lakers and Clippers would try to put together a proposal for Leonard. The Lakers have young talent in Brandon Ingram and Kyle Kuzma while the Clippers have the No. 12 and 13 picks in this week’s draft and would also likely include solid forward Tobias Harris.

But would the Spurs send Leonard to a conference rival? That remains to be seen.

Boston and Philadephia are also reported to be in the mix. Both also have young players and draft picks to send San Antonio’s way. 

Jaylen Brown and a first-round pick would be likely Boston’s route while a mix of Markelle Fultz, Dario Saric and Philly’s first-round pick would be the move for the Sixers. 

The New York Knicks emerged as potential trade partner, but aside from Kristaps Porzingis who suffered a serious injury and would not return until February, New York doesn’t have many appealing assets.

Cleveland.com reported Sunday night the Cavs are one of “several teams” to make a call to San Antonio in an effort to keep LeBron James.

They have the No. 8 pick in this week’s draft and would most likely also send Kevin Love or Tristan Thompson for Leonard.

Two of the most intriguing rumors has been a potential deal with Phoenix and Sacramento.

The Suns have the No.1 pick in this week’s draft. A report surfaced over the weekend that said Phoenix would explore the possibility of trading the pick if they were blown away by an offer.

AZCentral.com reported there was no truth to the rumor and the Suns would not trade the pick, but could be part of three-team deal that would get Leonard to the Lakers and have the Spurs avoid taking on Luol Deng’s contract. 

The Kings own the No. 2 pick in the draft, and USA Today’s Sam Amick reported Sacramento was expected to pursue Leonard.  

The Kings have the NBA’s longest playoff drought at 12 straight seasons and are attempting to become relevant again. Getting Leonard would be a good start.

Leonard remains under contract, so the Spurs may work to hash out their differences and sign him long-term, but with no immediate resolution, there’s no limit to the amount of rumors and reports we will see until then.

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