The Philadelphia 76ers may have just taken the lead in the Kawhi Leonard sweepstakes after Sam Amick of USA Today reported that the San Antonio Spurs prefer to trade the star forward to the Eastern Conference if they can’t retain him.
When Leonard’s desire to be traded from San Antonio to the Lakers was leaked via several media outlets last week, it was natural to wonder if he would become the star who compels James to come to LA. But in the days that followed, the Spurs wasted no time in sending this message all around the NBA: The only Western Conference team he might be playing for is theirs.

Fellow West teams have been told, in essence, to get lost – none moreso than the Lakers, according to ESPN. As it stands, the Spurs are determined to either fix the situation or trade Leonard to an Eastern Conference team. For teams other than the Lakers, the threat of losing Leonard in free agency next summer makes the prospect of offering meaningful assets a complicated, calculated risk.
ESPN.com’s Ramona Shelburne reported that the Los Angeles Lakers’ attempts to engage the Spurs in discussions for Leonard were immediately shut down.

It’ll be interesting to see how the Sixers and Celtics proceed, since Shelburne noted Leonard will alert teams interested in trading for him that he intends to sign with LA when he’s eligible for NBA Free Agency next summer.


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