Kawhi Leonard #2 of the San Antonio Spurs dribbles the ball against the Indiana Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on February 13, 2017 in Indianapolis, Indiana. They still have Leonard and they won't settle for chump change in a potential trade. Supposedly, Leonard has stated his preference would be a trade to the Lakers, and the National Basketball Association world is losing its mind with all the unlimited possibilities. He regularly travelled between San Antonio and NY for treatment and ruled out returning for the remainder of the season in March. Spurs legend Tony Parker made a subtle jab at Leonard when he claimed that he had recovered from a worse injury in less time than Leonard did.
This would give the Spurs a young core to build around and it would give the Celtics a scary good lineup of Irving, Leonard, Hayward, Taytum, and Horford. In a recent column for The Ringer, Kevin O'Connor identified the Phoenix Suns, who own the No. 1 pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, as a likely suitor for the 26-year-old. George and Leonard are Southern California natives and both don't seem to have much interest in sticking around their current teams.
If the Lakers ended up getting Leonard as well as George or James, it makes them an instant contender for the NBA Championship next season and going forth.
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Boston, while not being one of the cities listed, can make quite a deal for the Spurs as well.
As the Lakers prepare an offer for Leonard, they will also have to contend with the reality that San Antonio will be reluctant to send one of the league's elite talents to another Western Conference rival.
Markkanen would probably have to be packaged with the No. 7 overall pick in the upcoming draft. Acquiring Leonard would play a big part in that regard.
One source familiar with the Spurs said the chasm between the Spurs and Leonard's medical opinions was unusual.