While the NBA free agency window has officially opened, trade rumors involving Kawhi Leonard have not taken a backseat quite yet.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that in recent days, the Los Angeles Lakers have “not been really aggressive” in their trade talks for Leonard. It’s possible that they will show more interest now that Paul George has decided to re-sign with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
However, according to ESPN’s Chris Haynes, the Lakers’ crosstown rival are continuing to pursue the two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year.
Haynes notes that the Los Angeles Clippers “haven’t abandoned pursuit” of Leonard and could potentially trade for him this offseason.
With news that former Clippers big man DeAndre Jordan is signing with the Dallas Mavericks, the front office could make a huge splash by bringing in a new star.
Earlier this week, the Clippers were listed with +2000 odds to have Leonard on their roster next season (an implied probability of 4.6 percent). With a potential package presumably focusing on Tobias Harris and perhaps young players like Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and/or Jerome Robinson, Los Angeles could emerge as a suitor for the two-way star.
“Leonard wants a trade to Los Angeles, preferably the Lakers over the Clippers, league sources said. He has privately maintained that he no longer wants to play in San Antonio and will eventually alert rival teams considering trades for him that his intention is to sign in Los Angeles when he can become a free agent in 2019, league sources said.”
It’s unclear what a deal would look like or if the Spurs even have interest in any of the players currently on the Clippers’ roster. But if the Lakers back off, don’t be surprised if the Clippers rush in.