"He has privately maintained that he no longer wants to play in San Antonio and will eventually alert rival teams considering trades for him that his intention is to sign in Los Angeles when he can become a free agent in 2019, league sources said".
Conversely, Leonard could also be traded somewhere other than Los Angeles and settle in his new team, as Paul George has done. The Lakers, who have rebuilt over the last three years, likely have the assets to put together a package for Leonard, but it would rob them of their depth and young core. "If they are going to make a leverage trade... they might as well make it in February". Superstar Kawhi Leonard recently stated disinterest with the San Antonio Spurs and would like to be traded. 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. "I don't think the Spurs would want to deal with the Lakers, because they would be giving the Lakers, which plays within their [Western] conference, a super team, essentially, while pounding your own franchise for the next couple of years". Ainge made a transaction last summer with the Cleveland Cavaliers for Kyrie Irving who had wanted out then. "If James signed with LA, he's conceding he won't make the National Basketball Association finals". He could opt out and re-sign with Cleveland, although the strong current from national media is James appears ready to move again.
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George will be an unrestricted free agent in July and while he admitted playing in his native state would be "attractive", he has also hinted he would like to re-sign with the Oklahoma City Thunder, claiming the team "checked all the boxes".
George is in a similar situation as James.
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Right now, the Kawhi Leonard sweepstakes is taking place, with the San Antonio Spurs entertaining suitors.
The Spurs are finally getting down to the dirty business, but not with the Lakers.
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The 19-year-old lacks professional experience, but Altman pointed out that James dealt with that issue this season. It's quite a quandary for Cleveland, and James isn't helping the Cavs by keeping them in suspense.
It's understandable that the Spurs would want to shop here, but the C's aren't about to perform major surgery on a roster that is in position to regenerate from within over the next several years as Brown, Tatum and others develop. Having history to preclude trade discussions could force things to stall or have the Spurs send Kawhi Leonard to another team.
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