As LeBron James remains hesitant to be the first superstar to decide on the Los Angeles Lakers in free agency, pressure is mounting for the Lakers front office to execute a trade with the San Antonio Spurs to acquire disgruntled All-NBA forward Kawhi Leonard, league sources told ESPN.
While the Lakers came away feeling like San Antonio "shut the door on us" and the conversation never progressed or included a formal trade offer, the Spurs haven't ruled out sending Leonard to any destination, in the Eastern or Western Conference, league sources said.
Spurs general manager R.C. Buford said Thursday night that the franchise's desire is to keep disgruntled All-Star forward Kawhi Leonard in the fold but that the club "will explore all of our options." Among the issues Leonard has had with the Spurs is his frustration with the team's handling of a quadriceps injury that kept him out of action for all but nine games this past season. Leonard wants to be traded to Los Angeles, preferably to the Lakers, sources have told ESPN.
According to Robinson, Kawhi has to take responsibility and step up as a leader of the franchise if he wants to be viewed on the same level as LeBron James. “If you want to be a top two or three player in the league, you’ve got to be a leader. LeBron doesn’t sit around waiting for people to talk for him. LeBron gets out there and says ‘hey, this is my team, this is what’s happening.’ And I think that’s where Kawhi is. He’s meant so much for our franchise. We love him, we all want him to be there next year. But we want him to be there and take control.”
Shams Charania: The Los Angeles Lakers have reached out to the San Antonio Spurs to express interest in All-Star Kawhi Leonard, league sources tell Yahoo. No proposals have been discussed.
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: If Kawhi Leonard does become available in trade talks, the Boston Celtics will be interested in probing the Spurs about a deal, league sources tell ESPN. Boston inquired about a trade prior to the February deadline, sources said.
Marc Stein: The Clippers indeed intend to be aggressive trade bidders for Kawhi Leonard, league sources say, if/when San Antonio actually makes him available. That obviously hasn’t happened — yet
Kevin O'Connor: Expect the the Sixers, Celtics, Lakers and Clippers to be the main four teams pursuing Kawhi Leonard, per sources. Teams with top picks could always jump into the sweepstakes, but the risk would be significant considering Leonard has just one more season left on his contract.
Jabari Young: And here we go... sources tell @ExpressNews that Kawhi Leonard wants to be traded from #Spurs ... more to come...
Adrian Wojnarowski: San Antonio’s Kawhi Leonard has Los Angeles — preferably the Lakers — at the center of his preferences for a trade destination, league sources tell ESPN.
Sources: So far, Leonard has expressed nothing directly to Spurs about future. Lakers and Clippers interest Leonard -- and both teams would move quickly to assemble packages to acquire Leonard. Spurs won't rush. Leonard and his camp had shown interest in $219M super max deal.
Chris Haynes: Kawhi Leonard isn't concerned about missing out on the supermax, sources tell ESPN. There's a feeling of betrayal that at this juncture, appears irreparable.
Ian Begley: There are more than a few teams who can offer a better package to San Antonio for Kawhi than the Knicks can (assuming they don’t include Porzingis), but people close to Leonard have expressed a desire for Leonard to play in New York, per sources. twitter.com/chrisbhaynes/s…
Leonard has grown uncomfortable with the Spurs organization and is ready to move on, league sources said.
Chris Mannix: Look for the Lakers to make a big play for Kawhi Leonard. LA has the pieces, and can feel comfortable that Leonard wants to be there long term.
The Los Angeles Lakers and Philadelphia 76ers have interest in Leonard, each with a differing array of young assets to trade for him now and the potential of salary-cap space to sign Leonard outright in 2019. In the end, Leonard could dictate his destination based on his willingness to sign long term upon a trade. Oklahoma City acquired All-Star forward Paul George last summer without a commitment, and there will undoubtedly be a few teams with a similarly adventurous spirit in pursuit of Leonard.
On his new show, "Pull Up" podcast, CJ weighed in on Kawhi's future implying he could be home bound to California bound to join the Lakers and be offered plenty of money with their cap space. “It’s a very sticky situation right now in San Antonio, I’m gonna put it like this... He’s from California, lot of cap space out there in California”
Popovich and sources within the organization have long maintained that the team will continue to err on the side of caution when it comes to Leonard's injury. It's expected the club will offer the forward a max contract extension worth more than $200 million over the summer. Leonard stepped away to focus on rehabbing the injured quad after a nine-game return to the Spurs that ended on Jan. 13.
Asked if he would like to finish his career as a Spur, Leonard said. "Yeah. For sure." Leonard also said he hopes to get back on the court "soon," although he doesn't have a set date for his return. His last game was on Jan. 13.
RJ Marquez: BREAKING #Spurs news: Kawhi Leonard addressed the media today and said he would want to finish his career in San Antonio, adds he will return "soon" and he is practicing with physical contact, goal is still to return this year (pics via @markmendez) #KSATsports #GoSpursGo pic.twitter.com/dxqCduvlsU" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">pic.twitter.com/dxqCduvlsU" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">pic.twitter.com/dxqCduvlsU
The injury, rehabilitation and timetable for a return has played a part in complicating the Spurs and Leonard's relationship, causing a fraying of what had long seemed to be a model partnership, league sources told ESPN. The uncertainty surrounding this season -- and Leonard's future which could include free agency in the summer of 2019 -- has created significant concern at the highest levels of the organization, league sources said.
The injury, rehabilitation and timetable for a return has complicated the Spurs and Leonard's relationship, causing tension and fraying the fabric of what was once a strong partnership, league sources told ESPN. The uncertainty surrounding this season -- and Leonard's future which could include free agency in the summer of 2019 -- has inspired a palpable stress around the organization, league sources said.
As the Los Angeles Lakers become more realistic about the franchise's chances of snaring superstars in the free agent class of 2018, the front office is increasingly looking through a longer lens in its team building process, league sources told ESPN. The Lakers aren't abandoning a summer pursuit of stars, but rather recalibrating on the possibility of a 2019 class that could include San Antonio's Kawhi Leonard, Golden State's Klay Thompson and Minnesota's Jimmy Butler, league sources told ESPN.
After the San Antonio Spurs presented an offer of a maximum contract extension to his representatives, star forward Kawhi Leonard has agreed to the framework of a five-year deal that could be worth in excess of $90 million, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
While the Spurs await official word that Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili are coming back, their first order of business will be swift and simple: Re-signing defensive player of the year Kawhi Leonard to a five-year max deal, league sources told CBSSports.com.
July 30, 2021 | 1:10 pm EDT Update
Before eventually agreeing to a trade with the New Orleans Pelicans ahead of the draft, the Memphis Grizzlies were in serious talks with the Sacramento Kings on a similar deal, according to Brian Windhorst on The Hoop Collective Podcast.
The Grizzlies would have sent Jonas Valanciunas to the Kings for the No. 9 pick in the draft and Marvin Begley Jr. Memphis instead traded up with the Pelicans at No. 10 while also taking back Steven Adams and Eric Bledsoe.
Joe Mussatto: Thunder officially announces the trade for Derrick Favors and a future first. OKC will send back a 2027 second and cash. pic.twitter.com/48OHm2D1FH
JD Shaw: Former Dayton standout guard Ibi Watson has agreed to an Exhibit 10 deal with the Atlanta Hawks, league source tells @HoopsRumors. Watson will also play summer league with the team next month.
Jay King: Jalen Adams, who starred at UConn, is working out for the Celtics today, per source. He has worked out for four other teams over the last couple of weeks. The 6-foot-3 guard, a Boston native, is currently scheduled to play summer league for the Raptors.
Fans (and some media) have tried to paint Kyrie Irving as a villain and a malcontent in corners like Boston and Cleveland, but the Nets star is being quietly hailed as a hero in others, where his philanthropy is changing lives. His latest effort — a solar-powered water plant in Rohal, one of Pakistan’s poorest villages — will do exactly that, providing water and electricity to those in need. It was built by the Michigan-based Paani Project with help given through the KAI Family Foundation.