In the end, I'm not sure Kawhi Leonard and Ben Simmons would have ever been teammates, even if the mercurial shooting guard decided he wanted to be here.

In a report from Zach Lowe that can only be described as hilarious, Gregg Popovich and R.C. Buford made it known to Brett Brown and the Philadelphia 76ers that Leonard could only be had for one of the Sixers' main pillars in Simmons or Joel Embiid.
Philadelphia’s potential package of Robert Covington, Dario Saric, and the Heat’s unprotected 2021 pick didn’t move the needle. It’s unclear if the Spurs had interest in Markelle Fultz; the two sides never discussed him seriously, and the Sixers would not have parted with him, sources say. The Spurs made it clear any deal with Philly would require Ben Simmons or Joel Embiid (likely Simmons), and the Sixers weren’t going anywhere near that, league sources say.
The Sixers made it clear from the start both Simmons and Embiid were off-limits in trade talks, with reports suggesting that the Spurs wanted an All-Star in exchange for Leonard.


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