Published: Sun, July 01, 2018
Sport | By Floyd Cook

The Spurs Should Not Trade Kawhi to the Lakers

The Spurs Should Not Trade Kawhi to the Lakers

But Leonard now appears to have no intention of sticking around in a stand-off that now appears likely to bring to an end his seven-year stint in San Antonio.

LeBron James continues to dominate sports headlines with many speculating that he is set to sign a contract this summer with only one of two teams-the Cleveland Cavaliers or Los Angeles Lakers.

According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and Zach Lowe, the "last straw" for Leonard was the comments Parker made in March about the two-time All-Star's quad injury. Once draft picks are signed, they can not be traded for 30 days.

The Lakers have roughly $60 million in salary-cap space they could use to sign James and perhaps another top-tier free agent such as Paul George of the Oklahoma City Thunder. However, Bulpett revealed that the Celtics are not willing to include Jaylen Brown or Jayson Tatum in the trade package that they will offer to the Spurs for Kawhi Leonard. The team is already a title contender so it doesn't make sense to trade for Leonard who had just recently told teams not named the Lakers and Clippers that he would not re-sign with them. This has caused them and possibly other teams to low-ball deals to the Spurs.

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Conversely, Leonard could also be traded somewhere other than Los Angeles and settle in his new team, as Paul George has done. The 2014 NBA Finals MVP has demanded to be traded.

Kawhi Leonard #2 of the San Antonio Spurs shoots a free throw during the game against the Golden State Warriors during Game One of the Western Conference Finals of the 2017 NBA Playoffs on May 14, 2017 at ORACLE Arena in Oakland, California. This should all but erase any thoughts the Lakers have about waiting a year for Leonard. L.A. should be able to offer incoming players plenty of minutes, especially if the front office moves young talent like Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma and/or Josh Hart in a trade for Leonard.

They'd also need scoring off the bench, and there are several free agents who would jump at an opportunity to have this kind of prominent role on a team like the Lakers.

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