It’s been months since anyone has heard from San Antonio Spurs star Kawhi Leonard and the alleged disconnect between Leonard and the organization that drafted him has raised questions about a potential trade this summer. Of course, like any good NBA trade rumors, the Los Angeles Lakers have emerged as a potential landing spot for the disgruntled superstar.
However, it’s not just star-hungry Lakers fans that are anticipating a homecoming of sorts for the Southern California native. Some of Leonard’s colleagues, like Portland Trailblazers guard C.J.McCollum, think Leonard will land in a big market like Los Angeles.
He explained why on his podcast, “Pull Up with CJ McCollum”:
“I’m willing to bet based on the rumors of bigger markets—you hear people say L.A., which is what I think will happen,” McCollum said (h/t Fansided). “You also hear whispers about the Sixers, whispers about the New York Knicks. Another sleeper could potentially be the Boston Celtics.
“I think, based on what we’ve seen, there’s a high likelihood that he will no longer be with the franchise in the future. High likelihood.”
McCollum’s speculation came fresh off the heels of a report that alleged Leonard’s family and agency have “never been fond of Texas” because of the limited marketing opportunities for the two-time All-Star.
Just a few days before that report, there were rumors of concern within the Spurs organization about “Leonard’s group” angling for a move to a bigger market like Los Angeles, New York or Philadelphia.
It’s gotten to the point where enough of these leaks have come out to assume that there is fire where this smoke is coming from. Now it’s on the Spurs to decide what they’re going to do with Leonard before he hits unrestricted free agency in 2019, or if they’ll risk losing him for nothing.
They could always try and work things out with Leonard like they did with LaMarcus Aldridge last summer when he reportedly requested a trade. However, if they can’t come to an agreement within the next few months, expect the Lakers to make a call to R.C. Buford and Co.