Kawhi Leonard and his team have just made it public that he wants to be traded. Leonard is growing more and more uncomfortable with the Spurs organization. Kawhi has had a rough year with the Spurs due to him only playing a handful of games this season. Kawhi got hurt in the playoffs 2 years ago and took a year off to heal making people question him. Leonard had a meeting with the front office and Greg Popovich after the season ended to figure out the next step. I will be breaking down some potential teams that Kawhi could be traded to with possible trade scenarios.
Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio’s Potential Trade Partners
Los Angeles Lakers
The Los Angeles Lakers could have the potential of a huge off-season ahead of them. The Lakers have enough money to sign 2 free agents to a max deal and have a roster loaded with young talent. Kawhi Leonard is a superstar in this league and although people have questions about his commitment to a team and to basketball. Kawhi Leonard has Los Angeles and the Lakers on the top of his list. If the Lakers went after Leonard to pair with Lonzo Ball and possibly LeBron James and Paul George.
The Boston Celtics made some splashes in the offseason last year with the trade for Kyrie Irving and signing Gordan Hayward in free agency. The Celtics lost Hayward within the first 5 minutes in the first game of the season with a broken leg. The Celtics also lost Kyrie Irving late in the season to a knee injury. Boston has a remarkable season making it to game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals before losing to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Boston knows that this is their time to take over the Eastern Conference and be one of the top teams in the league. The Celtics have draft picks and assets to trade while trying to go after Kawhi Leonard. Boston could offer a couple different trades but i would imagine their young stars are considered untouchable.They could look to trade Hayward and Rozier giving the Spurs a top player in the league and a point guard who has shown he can dominate or they could look to trade Kyrie who has one year left on his deal and becomes a free agent after the 2019 season.
New York Knicks
The New York Knicks are not to far from contending in the Eastern Conference. The Knicks hired a new head coach this offseason in David Fizdale and hired a new general manager last offseason in Scott Perry. The Knicks have the 9th pick in this years draft and have valuable young players on their roster in Kristaps Porzingis, Frank Ntilikina, and Tim Hardaway Jr. If the New York Knicks could land Kawhi Leonard without giving up Ntilikina, Porzingis, or their draft pick this season then they could be on the uprise sooner rather than later. Kawhi Leonard is the missing piece for the Knicks at the forward position. Leonard would come in and be the star of the team until Porzingis came back and he would thrive under David Fizdale who preaches defense.
Spurs receive: Andrew Wiggins
Timberwolves receive: Kawhi Leonard
The Minnesota Timberwolves have had some drama in their organization over the past couple of months. Karl Anthony-Towns has been rumored to be unhappy in Minnesota and their has been talks about him possibly being traded. Their has also been rumors about Jimmy Butler not commiting to the Timberwolves because of Andrew Wiggins. Butler has concerns about Wiggins work ethic and his defense because he knows the potential of Wiggins but doesn’t see the work ethic behind it. The Timberwolves could try to pair Leonard with Butler and Towns in order to make a run in the Western Conference and Andrew Wiggins would be a nice replacement for the Spurs. Wiggins could reach his potential and thrive in Greg Popovich’s system.
Spurs receive: CJ McCullom and Future First Round Pick
Portland receive: Kawhi Leonard
The Portland TrailBlazers have had regular season success but not the same kind of success in the playoffs. Lilliard has had meeting with the owner and front office about the future of their organization. Portland could look at trying to change things up by moving McCullom for Leonard. Kawhi and Lilliard could become a dynamic duo and possibly make some noise in the playoffs. The Spurs would be getting back a young proven player in this league. McCullom can create for himself and his teammates while defending at a high level.
Spurs receive: Robert Covington, Markelle Fults, 10th Overall Pick(2018 Draft)
76ers receive: Kawhi Leonard
The Philadelphia 76ers had a remarkable season last year after years of being at the bottom of the league. Philadelphia has a bright future with Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid as their cornerstones. The 76ers are on the verge of something special for the next decade. I would imagine that Philadelphia is going to go after Leonard to pair with Simmons and Embiid in efforts to become a contender. The 76ers could offer Robert Covington who was one of the better defenders in the league last season and one of the top 3 point shooters in the league. Markelle Fultz was the number 1 pick in the draft last year who didn’t have a great first season but could be a blessing to land with Greg Popovich and the Spurs organization. The Spurs would also receive a top 10 pick in this years draft which could be dealt for a player or the Spurs could draft a young star in the making. Kawhi Leonard would be a huge piece for the 76ers moving forward and would make Philadelphia a contender in the league.
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