Where will Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard be playing next season?
San Antonio’s next move is still very much to be determined, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne. ESPN reported Tuesday the Spurs have engaged in trade talks with several teams, including the Celtics, Philadelphia 76ers, Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers, Denver Nuggets, Phoenix Suns, Portland Trail Blazers, Toronto Raptors, and Washington Wizards.
Despite the widespread interest, however, ESPN reports many teams have made “modified” offers because of questions surrounding Leonard’s long-term plans (Is he just a one-year rental who will sign with the Lakers when he becomes an unrestricted free agent at the end of the upcoming season?) and his health (Will he return from his quad injury as a top-5 player?).
According to ESPN, the Celtics have not included Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Kyrie Irving, Gordon Hayward, or Al Horford in their trade package, while the Sixers have not included Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, or Markelle Fultz. Both teams have reportedly made pick-heavy offers, which “haven’t moved” the Spurs. Boston has four potential first-round picks in the 2019 NBA Draft.
The Spurs are interested in acquiring “an All-Star caliber player, high-potential young players, and draft assets” in a deal for Leonard, ESPN reports. Per Wojnarowski and Shelburne, “San Antonio has been determined in demanding a sizeable return on Leonard.”
Though the Spurs reportedly have not granted prospective trade partners the opportunity to speak directly with Leonard or his representatives, interested teams may soon get a chance to see Leonard in action for the first time since January 2018. The two-time NBA All-Star is “seriously considering” participating in Team USA’s minicamp later in July, according to ESPN. Leonard was one of 35 players invited to participate in the camp, which will be led by Spurs coach Gregg Popovich.
Leonard had played just nine games last season, before missing the remainder of the year with a quad injury. His participation in the camp could certainly answer some of the lingering questions surrounding his health.
As one general manager told ESPN, Leonard’s physical can’t show whether he’s regressed from a top-5 player.