Cavs, Suns in mix for Spurs' Leonard

Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard

Only a day removed from the revelation that Spurs' star Kawhi Leonard wanted out from San Antonio before next season started, and we already have our first jersey burning video, a la LeBron.

Then to make matters more interesting in this National Basketball Association soap opera, Leonard preferably wants to go to the Los Angeles Lakers, league sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

The 26-year-old only played nine games last season while dealing with a quadriceps injury. The acquisition of Kawhi Leonard will strengthen the Lakers' chance of signing their target superstars in the free agency market like LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Paul George of the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Lakers do have young players to offer, though the Spurs may not be interested in a package that includes Lonzo Ball.

So, when Ball's name was mentioned in a potential Kawhi Leonard trade, it turns out the Spurs will take a hard pass.

On Friday, ESPN posted a story about the seven best trades for Kawhi Leonard. After all, they can afford to give up a stellar young wing player that would intrigue the Spurs while also helping them to grow their future asset pool while still remaining competitive. There was some speculation as to whether or not Phoenix would want him for the number one overall pick, but it doesn't seem to make much sense. Whether Brown and picks is enough for Boston to land Leonard remains to be seen. Cleveland may have the least to offer for Leonard and that may be the best thing to happen to them. Sending Kawhi off to work under James Dolan would also fulfill any potential desire for revenge that might rest in R.C. Buford's heart. Leonard has never played a full 82 games. However, the Knicks have a history of nearly entertainingly short-sighted trades.

The Kawhi Leonard saga has reached the next level. It may limit the number of offers the Spurs can choose from, unless a team wants to take a risk on having Leonard as a one-year rental. They still need another superstar in order to compete with the Boston Celtics in the eastern conference.

The Sixers might not be willing to part with Markelle Fultz at the nadir of his value.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported in June that Leonard and Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich would meet to try to fix the relationship. The Grizzlies will most likely be sellers at the trade deadline this year and could move Leonard, if they so chose, and perhaps get a haul of draft picks or multiple assets.

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