NBA Trade News: Spurs could deal Kawhi Leonard this offseason

By @saihoops on
Kawhi Leonard trade, NBA Trade News
Dec 30, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard (2) takes a free throw during the fourth quarter against the Detroit Pistons at Little Caesars Arena. USA TODAY Sports / Raj Mehta

Rival teams are preparing to make offers to San Antonio Spurs on a potential Kawhi Leonard trade this summer, according to several reports. Leonard, a free agent in 2019, could force his way out of San Antonio after reports of growing disconnect with the franchise.

Though teams could be hesitant to part with valuable assets for a soon-to-be-free agent, Leonard is widely regarded as one of the five best players in the sport and is likely to generate a ton of interest. According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, several general managers have already begun their inquiries about Leonard's long-term future in San Antonio.

“I have already talked to several NBA general managers. At the end of this season, teams will call the Spurs and inquire about the availability of Kawhi Leonard. And the fact that would even happen is a dramatic shift that none of us would have foreseen coming," Windhorst said on Outside the Lines, via ABC News.

NBA Trade News: Spurs could squash rumours with extension

This summer, the Spurs are eligible to offer Leonard a five-year extension in excess of US$200 million. Windhorst believes the Spurs front office will find a way to keep Leonard in town. “I still believe (that) with the Spurs track record and the kind of player and the kind of career that Kawhi wants and the kind of money that’s at stake, I still believe the most likely scenario is he signs an extension and stays a Spurs long term,” the NBA insider added.

The Leonard situation has been murky all season long for the San Antonio Spurs. Leonard, the 2014 NBA Finals MVP, was expected to return from his quadriceps tendinopathy injury in "Mid-March." However, Leonard's personal team of doctors didn't clear him to return to basketball duties, adding to further speculation of a rift between the All-Star forward and the Spurs organisation.

Kawhi Leonard, a former two-time Defensive Player of the Year, averaged a career-high tally of 25.5 points, 5.8 rebounds and 3.5 assists last season. He finished No. 3 in the MVP voting ballot behind Russell Westbrook and James Harden, a year after finishing No. 2 behind Stephen Curry. Stay tuned for the latest NBA Trade News and Kawhi Leonard trade update.