Chasing Kawhi Leonard, Lakers engage Spurs yet again

Chasing Kawhi Leonard, Lakers engage Spurs yet again

The San Antonio Spurs are engaged with several teams in trade talks regarding All-NBA forward Kawhi Leonard, including the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics, league sources told ESPN.

As for Embiid and Simmons, it's obvious why they would be excluded from any trade. Point guard Shai Gilgeous Alexander, who was drafted by the Clippers in June, is one of the promising young players being rumored as part of the trade package for Kawhi Leonard.

Philadelphia believes they have a chance of acquiring Leonard in a trade while also signing LeBron James. According to ESPN's Ramona Shelburne, Adrian Wojnarowski and Brian Windhorst, the Spurs and Lakers are talking Leonard again.

That puts the Lakers in a tough spot, as they may have to trade assets for a player who wants to join them next summer, just to land James.

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FILE - Supreme Court Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy speaks in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, April 10, 2017. Who is Trump listening to? Republicans hold a narrow 51-49 majority in the chamber and Trump can ill-afford any defections.

The Spurs are in no rush to make a deal, and don't necessarily have to, preferring to try to fix their relationship with Leonard and potentially reward him with a super-max contract. Whether that is true or San Antonio just want to use Philly for leverage is up for debate, but the Sixers are at least at the table. It's assumed the Sixers are hesitant to offer a king's ransom to the Spurs in exchange for Kawhi because they are anxious it would be just a one-year rental. What makes more sense is for the Lakers and Spurs to bring in a third team looking to take on bad salary in exchange for picks to help facilitate. While he may re-sign with them anyway, there's really no reason to other than money.

Kawhi Leonard has a strong desire to play in Los Angeles. If LeBron James leaves the Cleveland as many people are speculating, the 76ers and Celtics rise to the top of the Eastern Conference without Kawhi Leonard. Leonard would make the Celtics even more of a title contender, however, the Celtics should stay as far away as possible from Leonard. Don't forget, the Lakers can pursue other options if they don't land Leonard. Los Angeles believes landing one of those stars would likely mean James is coming, as well.

Lakers president Magic Johnson recently gave a confident statement about the Lakers' offseason, saying if things don't go their way this summer, they will move onto next summer to go after free agents.

What also can not be dismissed is the Los Angeles Clippers and their desire to trade for Kawhi Leonard.

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