In an absolutely shocking twist of events, the San Antonio Spurs are reluctant to trade away their best player. Even more shocking is that they’re doing anything they can not to send him to a hated rival, the Los Angeles Lakers.
“Kawhi and his family mean a lot to our organization and the community, and while none of us would wish we are where we are, we’re going to do what we can to build the best relationship we can with them. We’ll explore all of our options, but the first one would be to do what we can to keep Kawhi as a part of our group.”
Acknowledging the rift between the organization and Leonard is interesting, given how secretive the Spurs can be at times. Yes, you’re probably thinking that to not mention it or ignore it would be close to lying, but it honestly wouldn’t have shocked me if Buford or Popovich was featured in some clip that media members fawned over in which they acted like nothing was happening.
It was always unlikely that a draft-day trade was going to take place for Leonard unless some team swept in with a godfather offer. That simply isn’t in the Lakers’ best interests.
As frustrating as patience in this situation might be, as things are currently constituted, the longer the Lakers hold out on making a formal offer, the more leverage they gain. The closer to the trade deadline the Spurs get without any progress being made, the more of their leverage flies out the window.
So, we wait. And if the Lakers are able to land LeBron James without trading for Leonard, look out.