Brian Windhorst: Kawhi Leonard has passed his physical with the Raptors, according to sources. The trade is now official.
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Danny Green: “I don’t think it was due to ill relationships or bad terms with people – regardless of the situation, it happened… There’s a lot of details that fans don’t know about, behind the scenes with players, and I don’t even know. I haven’t had the chance to sit down [with Kawhi]. I feel like we have to have that sit-down. I have to talk to him. I need to know what’s going on. ‘Since I’m with you now, I need to know what’s going on. What happened? What’s going on? Where’s your head at? Because we’re in this together now.'”
Josh Lewenberg: Kawhi will be taking his physical in the next few days, Masai says. “He’ll be here shortly.”
Michael Grange: Raptors connected with Leonard and agent etc. multiple times and separately on Wednesday, according to league sources. All conversations positive, forward-looking.
Multiple league executives say the Spurs were prioritizing scoring in all prospective trade packages for Leonard, not picks or unproven players.
Bobby Marks: A side note to the Kawhi Leonard trade. Reporting and passing a physical (a team cannot give a physical before the trade call) is a requirement (standard procedure) for both teams. The trade is not official until both conditions are met.
They didn’t start with much, either. Nobody knows if Leonard is healthy enough to regain status as a top-five player and MVP candidate. (He still has to pass a physical.) Suitors feared his impending free agency, and his reported preference for one of the L.A. teams. His camp made it very clear over the past week, to the Raptors and other teams, that Leonard wanted no part of Toronto, sources say.
DeRozan as a centerpiece is a disappointing return, but also one that reflects market realities. Gregg Popovich does not want to finish his career in a rebuild. The Spurs never showed interest in packages — including Boston’s — heavy on picks and unproven players, sources have said. The Celtics would not swap any of their core guys, including Jaylen Brown, perhaps the most interesting Leonard trade chip in the league, without some assurances about Leonard’s health and future plans, sources have said.
Philadelphia’s potential package of Robert Covington, Dario Saric, and the Heat’s unprotected 2021 pick didn’t move the needle. It’s unclear if the Spurs had interest in Markelle Fultz; the two sides never discussed him seriously, and the Sixers would not have parted with him, sources say. The Spurs made it clear any deal with Philly would require Ben Simmons or Joel Embiid (likely Simmons), and the Sixers weren’t going anywhere near that, league sources say.
Is Kawhi Leonard up to something? After the embattled forward was traded to the Toronto Raptors by the San Antonio Spurs along with Danny Green in exchange for DeMar DeRozan, Jakob Poeltl, and a 2019 first-round pick, a highly intriguing rumor was floated by Bruce Arthur of the Toronto Star during a recent appearance on the Back to Back Podcast. According to Arthur, he has heard of a story that Leonard is planning to form a new superteam in the NBA, contacting other stars to convince them to play together on the same team.
Bruce Arthur: “One thing I was told last night is that Kawhi Leonard has already been planning out his free agency for next year and he’s already been in contact with other star players in the league, saying, ‘hey, where might you want to play with me? What are we looking at?’ And it wasn’t just L.A. he was talking about. Brooklyn was maybe somewhere that’ll have a ton of cap space. That’s a possibility.”
Zach Lowe: League’s trade memo on Kawhi has been sent to teams. Includes one final tidbit: the Spurs are sending Toronto $5M in cash (almost the maximum they can send for the year) as part of the deal. Meant to cover tax hit linked to Kawhi’s trade kicker, but still…
Alex Kennedy: Fred VanVleet texted me this quote in response to the Spurs-Raptors trade. I added it to our recent Q&A, which was a wide-ranging conversation covering a ton of topics.
Toronto retains its two most interesting prospects in OG Anunoby and Pascal Siakam, plus both Delon Wright and Fred VanVleet. Danny Green is more than a throw-in, even if the Spurs dangled him for very little in return over the past year, sources say. With Leonard, Anunoby, and Green, the Raptors can play lineups featuring three switchable wings who shoot 3s.
Danny Green, the longest-tenured Spur next to this side of Manu Ginobili at eight seasons, was part of the collateral damage. He also was shipped to the Raptors as part of the deal. “Shocked” was the one-word description Green shared via text message after the bombshell hit San Antonio in the hours before sunrise.
Despite being eligible to receive a five-year super max extension this summer worth $221 million from the Spurs, Leonard wanted out of San Antonio for myriad reasons. He felt betrayed by the team for the handling of the quadriceps injury that kept him out of all but nine games last season — plus, Leonard’s camp believes the Spurs misdiagnosed a 2014 wrist injury as well — and also for the resistance encountered from the franchise when seeking outside opinions. Not to mention what seemed to be public questioning of the situation by members of the organization, with sources saying the forward had been medically cleared to play since December.
The franchise harbored some ill will, too, but considered Leonard such an important commodity it was willing to work through the difficult times toward resolution. The Spurs disliked ceding control in August of Leonard’s medical care to outside doctors and were miffed by the handling of the entire situation by the forward’s representation — namely uncle Dennis Robertson — who, like Leonard, didn’t necessarily excel in the communication department, according to sources.
Privately, officials within organization had hoped Leonard would let the Spurs declare him out for the season due to his injury, according to sources with knowledge of the situation. Believing he’d eventually return, Leonard declined each time, leaving Popovich to field queries from the media that he couldn’t definitively answer. Popovich simply didn’t know.
Eddie Sefko: Here’s how much Kawhi Leonard trade impacted NBA title odds? (odds on July 2 to current): Warriors 21/20 to 4.7, Celtics 4/1 to, 11/2, Lakers 7/2 to 7/1, Rockets 13/2 to 15/2, 76ers 12/1 to 16/1, Raptors 60/1 to 18/1, Thunder 60/1 to 40/1, Spurs 50/1 to 66/1. Jazz 80/1 to 90/1
Gregg Popovich and the San Antonio Spurs are ready to move forward after trading Leonard for DeMar DeRozan on Wednesday. “We talked often over the summer, about a lot of different things both on and off the court,” Popovich said to reporters in San Antonio. “So attempts were made to see what would be best and in the end, this trade appeared and we felt that this was the way to go.”
Leonard is seriously considering participating in the minicamp according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne. “Kawhi conducted himself wonderfully while he was here,” Popovich said. “He helped us win a fifth championship. He was a hard worker, all the time. We wish him well but at this point it is time to move on. I am concerned about Jakob and DeMar and our basketball team and putting that together.”
Tim Bontemps: Pop on Kawhi: “We wish him well as he moves into Toronto. I think he’ll be great.”
The San Antonio Spurs have agreed to trade Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green to Toronto for DeMar DeRozan, Jakob Poeltl and a protected 2019 first-round pick, league sources tell ESPN. Toronto’s first-round pick to San Antonio is a protected 1-20 selection. After one year, it becomes two second-round picks.
Shams Charania: Kawhi Leonard has been informed he has been traded to the Raptors, league sources tell Yahoo Sports. Spurs receive package centered on DeMar DeRozan from Toronto.
Bobby Marks, ESPN: Here are the financial implications for Toronto by acquiring Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green: The Raptors now have a payroll of $139.1M and a current tax bill of $29.8M. Danny Green is in the last year of his contract with a cap hit of $10M. Leonard will have a cap hit of $23.1M (including the trade bonus) and has a $21.3M player option for 2019-20. If Leonard elects to leave as a free agent in 2019, Toronto will have $101.6M in guaranteed salary and will be over the salary cap based on the team options of Pascal Siakam ($2.4M), Malachi Richardson ($2.6M), OG Anunoby ($2.3M) and $7.6M free agent hold of Delon Wright. The Raptors could create some flexibility if Jonas Valanciunas ($17.6M) and CJ Miles ($8.7M) opt-out of their contract. If Leonard returns, the first year cap hit projects to be $32.7M. In 2020-21, Toronto only has the $10.9M Norman Powell salary and $3.9M OG Anunoby team option counting against the cap.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Toronto has reached agreement in principle to acquire San Antonio’s Kawhi Leonard for package that includes DeMar DeRozan, league sources tell ESPN. Trade is larger on both sides, and players are still being informed of their inclusion in the deal. Trade call with league today.
Adrian Wojnarowski: The San Antonio-Toronto deal has been close for days and nearly fallen apart several times, league sources tell ESPN. Ujiri wanted to inform DeRozan himself late last night, in hours before trade call. DeRozan and longtime teammate Kyle Lowry talked hours ago, sources said.
Raptors president of basketball operations Masai Ujiri is taking a significant risk in pursuing the trade. Ujiri will make the deal with a determination that he can sell Leonard on re-signing with the Raptors next summer in free agency, sources said. Toronto would be able to offer Leonard a five-year, $190 million contract next summer. If Leonard left the Raptors, he could sign a four-year, $141 million deal with a team with the available salary-cap space.
An agreement in principle could be reached as soon as Wednesday, league sources said. Leonard and DeRozan are both aware that an agreement could be imminent, and neither is expressing enthusiasm for the deal, league sources said.
Toronto and San Antonio have been talking about the trade for two weeks, and several incarnations of packages have been discussed, league sources said.
Chris Haynes: Kawhi Leonard has no desire to play in Toronto, league source tells ESPN.
The San Antonio Spurs and Toronto Raptors are engaged in serious talks on a trade centered around Kawhi Leonard and DeMar DeRozan, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
Talks between the Spurs and Raptors have intensified in recent days, league sources said. The potential deal would bring Leonard, one of the NBA’s top players when healthy, to Toronto and send an All-NBA and All-Star caliber player in DeRozan to the Spurs. For key figures involved in the deal, it is believed only a snag in final discussions could slow the traction on completion, league sources said.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Toronto is close to a deal to acquire Spurs All-Star Kawhi Leonard, league sources tell @Chris Haynes and me. Trade package includes DeMar DeRozan, league sources tell ESPN.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Both key players are aware that a deal may be imminent, league sources tell ESPN.
Shams Charania: San Antonio and Toronto are engaged in serious talks on a trade centered on Kawhi Leonard and DeMar DeRozan, league sources tell Yahoo.
Alex Kennedy: DeMar DeRozan posted these to his Instagram story...
Q: Raptors fans have a lot of faith in Masai Ujiri — we really credit him for turning our franchise around after trading Rudy Gay in 2013. But where does he go from here? — Dan Schechner (Toronto) MARC STEIN: I just spent a few days at the N.B.A.’s annual summer league in Las Vegas, where buzz about Toronto trying to work its way into the Kawhi Leonard trade sweepstakes was constant. But is it real? The offshore oddsmakers who establish betting lines on these things certainly think so, because the Raptors have suddenly emerged as the bookies’ favorites to land Leonard via trade. I can’t say I’d make the same forecast — at least not yet.
MARC STEIN: But I did hear enough chatter in various Vegas conversations to believe that the Raptors have given legit consideration to gambling on a trade for Leonard, with three obvious problems to contend with: 1) Leonard can leave in free agency at season’s end, even if the Raptors are fortunate enough to trade for him. 2) Leonard’s camp has given no indication to any interested team that he plans to sign anywhere but Los Angeles (with either the Lakers or the Clippers) in July 2019. 3) Leonard’s readiness for next season, thanks to the quadriceps injury that limited him to nine games last season, has to concern teams in Toronto’s position as much as the idea of trading for him and losing him months later.
During the latest episode of ESPN’s “The Lowe Post” podcast, ESPN’s NBA Insider Brian Windhorst says Toronto could be in the “driver’s seat” to land San Antonio Spurs’ Kawhi Leonard and went on to say the Lakers and Sixers have bowed out of the Kawhi sweepstakes.
Brian Windhorst: “I think they’re in the driver’s seat for Kawhi because I think the Lakers have given up.” “The Sixers have given up and with the Nets, Bulls and Hawks spending their cap space, it makes it harder to assemble a multi-team trade. I think the Raptors are in the driver’s seat.”
By league rule the Spurs are the only team that can offer Leonard supermax money. If he is traded, Leonard forfeits his claim to it. If Leonard is dealt, the most he could make via an extension with his new team is $108 million over four years. If Leonard is dealt but opts to become a free agent next summer, the most he could earn would be $190 million over five years.
Leonard’s team of advisers — including his agent, Mitch Frankel, and his uncle and business manager, Dennis Robertson — reportedly believes the league’s most low-key superstar can over time make up the financial difference in endorsement money and a new shoe deal if he moves to a higher-profile market.
There is growing suspicion among a collection of NBA agents — a naturally suspicious group — that Robertson is aiming to build his own marketing company with his nephew as its signature client, and would like to position Leonard in a glamour market to do so. Multiple agents say Robertson — a former banking executive — has approached other players about wanting to be their manager.
Kawhi Leonard is now super max eligible (third year anniversary of the contract signed on July 16, 2015) to receive a five-year $221 million extension from the Spurs. If Leonard is traded, the most he could receive in an extension (six months after the trade) would be $108 million over four-years (starting in 2019-20). Leonard would be eligible to sign a five-year $190 million contract as a free agent with the team acquiring him or four-years $141 million with a team that has cap space.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski on his podcast, the Lakers don’t appear to feel a sense of urgency in trading for Leonard: “To this point in trade discussions, the Lakers have not shown a sense of urgency to make a Kawhi Leonard trade.”
Pau Gasol is currently under contract with the San Antonio Spurs. If what I am hearing comes to fruition, that contract will be relocated to Philadelphia and the 7-foot Spaniard will be teaming up with Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons next season. When you are having simultaneous conversations with people all around the world and not a single person is telling you “That is untrue,” you have a smoke/fire situation. And what I am hearing is that a trade scenario that would send Gasol to the 76ers is very much in play as one of the various Kawhi Leonard deals being pondered by the San Antonio Spurs.
The more conflicting information I hear from people one or two steps away about what Leonard does/doesn’t want, the more I think some team — maybe one of these three — should be more aggressive gambling on a rental and selling Leonard on its culture. The Sixers haven’t offered Markelle Fultz, sources say, and it’s unclear if the Spurs want him. We know what Boston has. I pitched (among others) a Toronto swap centered on DeMar DeRozan last week.
Nearly half a dozen GMs told Bleacher Report during the first weekend of the Las Vegas Summer League that they would trade for Leonard even without a guarantee he’ll stay beyond next season. There is, after all, precedent for players being traded to a team and vowing they won’t stay before changing their minds a year later. … “I wouldn’t say we’re all scared to death to make a deal because there’s no chance he’ll re-sign [with a team somewhere other than L.A.],” said the Eastern Conference GM. “PG did. C-Webb did.”
And then there is the fact that the Spurs have yet to concede they have to trade Leonard and remain hopeful they can convince him to accept their offer of a supermax contract worth $219 million over five years, according to league sources. Given San Antonio’s stance, opposing teams are reluctant to name players they’d be willing to trade and risk having those names getting out into the public, potentially injuring the team’s relationship with those players if a deal is never done.
Several GMs noted that the Spurs’ willingness to let point guard Tony Parker leave in free agency could be seen as an olive branch of sorts to Leonard. Parker, who signed a two-year deal with the Charlotte Hornets after 17 seasons with the Spurs, was reportedly the most vocally accusatory in a late-season players-only meeting in which Leonard had the severity of his injury questioned. “They’re trying to give the impression that they don’t have to trade Kawhi,” said one Western Conference GM, who stated he also would make an offer for Leonard if he knew more about his condition and mindset. “The Spurs only like to deal when they have tremendous leverage,” he added. “Now they don’t have it, and they’re trying to create it.”
The 76ers are willing to walk away from the Kawhi Leonard sweepstakes. The team is in talks with San Antonio to acquire the two-time all-star via a trade. The Sixers are confident that they can sway him to pick up his player option or re-sign with them via free agency next summer.
The Sixers’ most realistic package to submit to San Antonio could involve Dario Saric, Robert Covington and the Miami Heat’s 2021 unprotected first-round pick. However, the Spurs want two players — again, believed to be Saric and Covington — and three future first-round picks.
But that all comes back to whether the Spurs decide to keep him. For every person who posed that question here at the Summer League, a different answer was given. To some, things have grown too toxic and Leonard has to get shipped out of town. To others, Leonard remains one of the league’s most talented players and every possible avenue to mend fences needs to be pursued before deciding it’s time to end the relationship.
The Philadelphia 76ers have consistently remained atop the list of teams expected to land Leonard. There is an obvious connection between the franchises with Coach Brett Brown, Gregg Popovich’s longtime assistant, now running the Sixers, plus the fact Philadelphia is in the Eastern Conference and the Sixers have the talent to make a deal. The one thing that was consistent was that such a deal will likely hinge on whether Philadelphia makes Markelle Fultz available. If the Sixers do, it’ll be hard for another team to top their offer.
The Toronto Raptors also generated buzz as a potential destination for Leonard. With LeBron James out of the Eastern Conference, perhaps Raptors President of Basketball Operations Masai Ujiri is willing to swing for the fences and move DeMar DeRozan or Kyle Lowry in such a deal.
Jordan Schultz: Nobody around league I’ve spoken w/thinks Tony Parker heading to #Hornets significantly changes #Kawhi-#Spurs dynamic, because dysfunction goes way beyond Parker – but it’s worth paying attention to post-@ramonashelburne and @wojespn report that Leonard “remains irate” w/TP.
By far the most glaring question mark hovers above superstar San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard. Quite literally no one knows (or will even whisper) what will happen with the former Finals MVP. But Kawhi is the talk in the casinos. He’s the talk on The Strip. He’s the talk throughout the Thomas & Mack. “It’s weird, right? Where do you think he goes?” asks a Western Conference executive. He never expected the Spurs to be in a position in which the face of the franchise wants out. “You gotta expect that he’s gone sooner than later. You don’t want that dragging into the season. And for someone like Kawhi, you absolutely have to get something in return. … It’s like the entire league is just waiting on the shoe to drop.”
Peter Vecsey: People can talk about Boston and Philly all they want as being reasonable relocations, but, contrary to a report, I’m told Kawhi is adamant about refusing to commit past next season to the 76ers. Hence, why would either team give up anyone or anything worthwhile to enhance a single championship sortie?
Peter Vecsey: “Kawhi is seriously prepared to sacrifice $80 million to play in L.A.,” says the same associate. He’s entitled to an extension worth $219M should Pop do the unthinkable and play nice. He could also play hard ass and pay Kawhi what’s on the books — $20,099,188. “He ain’t giving up 80 million to play in Boston or Philly!” the associate asserts.
Peter Vecsey: Before calling Kawhi a wrap, an additional inaccuracy needs to be corrected. Despite what you may have read or been told by two national columnists, Kawhi has absolutely no reservations about playing with LeBron James. “He’d be glad to play with him,” the associate stresses. “If not, he would do the Clippers.”
Peter Vecsey: The Spurs have the summer, maybe part of the fall, no longer, to leverage the Lakers for a prominent trade. “Pop is demanding outrageous packages. He’s trying to bankrupt the Lakers’ talent pool,” a Western Conference executive discloses.
Steve Kyler: Also heard in Vegas, as many as 8 teams have done background on a Kawhi Leonard trade. Seems several teams weighing risk/reward of a rental-type trade with the Spurs.
The Spurs exacerbated the problems — Tony Parker‘s comments about his injury being 100 times worse set things way back — but it’s not like Leonard and his advisors (particularly his uncle the manager) acted like adults through this. Look at these comments from ESPN’s Michael C. Wright on the must-listen “Back To Back” podcast: “There was a point during [Kawhi’s] rehab process in New York that some of the Spurs brass went out to see him in New York,” Wright said. “As soon as those guys arrived to the building, Kawhi’s people grabbed him and sequestered him to another part of the building. And so the Spurs’ people couldn’t even see him.”
Philadelphia has not included Markelle Fultz in trade talks, sources say. If the 76ers miss out on Leonard now, they could enter next offseason with about $40 million in cap space — a nice consolation prize.
Boston hasn’t included Jaylen Brown, sources say. As I wrote here, it might make more sense to offer Kyrie Irving or Gordon Hayward before Brown, but I don’t see either happening. Boston is confident it can re-sign Irving despite chatter — credible chatter — that Irving and Jimmy Butler would like to play together, per league sources. They’ve earned such confidence.
Adrian Wojnarowski: “I’ve been told that one of the reasons [Kawhi Leonard] looks at going to the Clippers – is a little less motivated [to go to the Clippers] is because initially, the idea of Los Angeles was fine to him – he preferred the Lakers but was all right with the Clippers – but now that LeBron James is there, the idea of going head-to-head with LeBron – to have Kawhi with the Clippers and LeBron with the Lakers, and to maybe feel dwarfed by that – I’m told that’s become far less appealing for him.”
ESPNLosAngeles: “They’ve [Lakers] been willing to offer what they consider to be a fair package but they’ve made it very clear to San Antonio that Kyle Kuzma is off limits…they’re not letting go of Kuzma.” – @stephenasmith on the Lakers not wanting to trade Kuzma
I know this might sound like a roll of the dice, but if I’m the Raptors, I would pick up the phone and tell Spurs GM R.C. Buford that he can choose a package featuring DeMar DeRozan. Yes, I get that you’d be giving up three years of DeRozan for Leonard’s expiring contract. But let’s face it: Toronto is third in the East pecking order behind Boston and Philadelphia. With LeBron out West, I would take a chance on Leonard if he looks healthy. Add Danny Green’s $10 million contract to Leonard, and a deal for DeRozan works.
Jake Fischer: The Sixers can indeed move Wilson Chandler’s salary immediately, but this is not, as of now, a Kawhi trade precursor. Sense around the league is the Spurs are in no rush to complete a Leonard deal. Conversations can change any moment, but talks are currently slow.
Kawhi Leonard is the kind of whale who could put the Heat in position to win the East. He’s 27, a two-time Defensive Player of the Year, a two-time All-NBA selection and looking badly to get out of San Antonio and a relationship that has gone sour. The problem is Leonard is showing signs he only wants to be a Laker. According to ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, Leonard may even be willing to sit out next season to prove his point. Riley, a league source said, is unwilling to trade a king’s ransom for a player entering the final season of his contract who will not commit to a long term deal to stay with the Heat.
Albert Nahmad: Lakers can still trade for Kawhi Leonard. They’d need to send out at least $14M (or once they reach the cap, $15M) to do it. But it feels to me like they don’t feel as much pressure to do it. They seem to be preserving flexibility for next summer (for Kawhi or whoever else).
Unless the Lakers can acquire Kawhi Leonard in a trade, it’s likely James will be the only marquee star headed to Los Angeles this summer. He’s well aware of that, and according to one source with knowledge of his thinking, James isn’t bothered by it. He is trying to build something sustainable over the twilight of his career and he’s doing it with one of the most legendary teams in sports; it’s the equivalent to playing for the Yankees in baseball.
With LeBron officially agreeing to sign with the Lakers, it’ll be fascinating to monitor what type of leverage the Spurs can create for Kawhi Leonard, who still desires to play for the Lakers, according to multiple league sources—all of whom say offers to the Spurs have been underwhelming. One executive said the proposed packages have gotten worse with each round of negotiations, while another said they’re flat-out unacceptable. That might change if the Lakers are determined to add their second star now. Multiple league sources suggest the Lakers could send a package to the Spurs featuring Ingram, multiple first-round picks, a sign-and-trade involving Randle, and possibly Josh Hart.
James’ agent, Rich Paul, met with Philadelphia – another storied franchise – which worked hard Sunday to reach a deal with San Antonio to acquire Leonard and then convince James to join, a person familiar with the situation told USA TODAY Sports. But the Sixers never made serious traction with the Spurs. The person requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly about trade talks.
Chris Haynes: As @JabariJYoung pointed out, sources say Kawhi Leonard would entertain signing longterm with Philadelphia. However, if Lakers are unable to orchestra a trade of the All-Star, it’s not a given he would sign there in summer of 19.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Sources: As trade talks have unfolded, Kawhi Leonard’s focus is unchanged: He wants to be a Laker.
Wagner, the 25th overall pick in June’s draft, now cannot be included in any trade for 30 days as the Lakers continue to monitor the Kawhi Leonard trade front and any other potential deals that could help them clear cap space or land assets that could help acquire a superstar this offseason.
SportsCenter: The 76ers have engaged in talks with the Spurs on a potential Kawhi Leonard trade. So far, Philly has kept Fultz, Embiid and Simmons off limits in talks, team sources tell @wojespn.
Marc Stein: Among the Sixers’ planned top selling points to LeBron James’ agent Rich Paul today: Philly believes it still has a real chance to win the Kawhi Leonard trade sweepstakes, league sources say
Alex Kennedy: Lakers, 76ers, Celtics continue to show interest in Kawhi Leonard, @Adrian Wojnarowski says on ESPN’s The Jump. He adds, “The Lakers have not been really aggressive the last few days.” The talks are slow. He added that the Spurs could still try to keep Kawhi and repair the relationship.
Ohm Youngmisuk: Woj says Lakers have not been super aggressive with Spurs on Kawhi talks and that Lakers may want to see how things play out with LeBron. Spurs want a ton for Kawhi.
Ohm Youngmisuk: Woj also said on @NBATheJumpFP that the Lakers’ decision to not give up one of their young players like Ingram or assets like the No. 2 pick for PG last year and get him in fold could become a cautionary tale and maybe signal to Lakers how they approach Kawhi…
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January 21, 2019 | 11:45 am EST Update
Albert Nahmad: Kenneth Faried is set to clear waivers at 5:00 pm EST today. If the Rockets want to sign him before tonight’s game, they’ll need to first clear a roster spot. If they can’t find a Carmelo Anthony trade in that span of time, they’ll just terminate James Nunnally’s 10-day contract.
Charlotte Hornets General Manager Mitch Kupchak announced today that the team has assigned forward Dwayne Bacon and guard Devonte’ Graham to the Greensboro Swarm, the team’s NBA G League affiliate. Dwayne Bacon has appeared in 23 games averaging 4.6 points, 1.5 rebounds and 0.7 assists in 10.6 minutes per game in his second season with the Charlotte Hornets. Bacon was selected 40th overall in 2017 NBA Draft by New Orleans and acquired by Charlotte, along with cash considerations, in exchange for Frank Jackson (31st overall) on draft night. The assignment to the Greensboro Swarm will mark the eighth of the 2018-19 G League season for Dwayne Bacon. He has appeared in seven games for the Swarm, averaging 20.9 points, 7.4 rebounds and 2.7 assists in 33.1 minutes per game.
According to Kanter, his absence from two games earlier this month was the result of a stomach bug, not overeating. Last week, the center posted a picture of himself getting ready to chow down on 13 burgers on his ‘cheat day.’ He missed practice the following day and then the next two games, on Jan. 11 and 13. “It was not burgers, man. Although I ate a lot of burgers that night. It was flu, it was definitely flu,” Kanter said. “Because we just came back from a long road trip and we landed 7-something AM and I only slept like one hour. And of course, it’s New York, it’s pretty cold. So I had the flu.”
Enes Kanter has spent years – and most of last week – speaking on the injustices in his home country of Turkey. On Monday, he’ll be playing on MLK Day and honoring America’s most famous civil rights leader. The meaning isn’t lost on Kanter. “Of course man, it means a lot. Everybody, whoever fights for freedom, if you’re fighting for democracy or human rights. It shows a lot,” said the NBA’s most politically-charged player. “So it will definitely be a blessing to have that day and play that day. So it will be an honor to go out there and wear this (Martin Luther King Jr.) t-shirt and play because he fought for something very important.”
January 21, 2019 | 7:12 am EST Update
Thompson stands to make $18.5 million next season. That’s a big number to take on, even if it’s only for one year, because of the 2019 free-agent sweepstakes so many teams want to have salary-cap space for. Unless Thompson puts a team over the top, then it would probably make more sense for a team to trade for him next season. The Cavs want him around to shepherd younger players through the early stages of this rebuild. They’ll probably be able to get better assets in return for him at next year’s trade deadline. There’s also a chance the Cavs want Thompson long term, and could, therefore, keep him and offer him an extension over the summer. What he thinks: “Blake Griffin got traded. At the end of the day, if the trade is right and the pieces are guys they feel can help the franchise moving forward, I’m totally understanding. It’s a business. If you don’t have a no-trade clause, anything can happen.”
In chasing Davis, the Lakers may need a push from his agent Rich Paul of Klutch Sports, who also represents James. “I’d say if the [Philadelphia 76ers offer Ben] Simmons, or with the [Boston] Celtics’ package of picks and young players, the Lakers would probably be third,” the former executive said. “One would think that [Pelicans general manager] Dell [Demps] would want a deal done around the draft [with Boston’s picks].”