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Published: Sun, June 17, 2018
Sport | By Billy Aguilar

Kawhi Leonard reportedly wants to leave San Antonio

Kawhi Leonard reportedly wants to leave San Antonio

The Phoenix Suns are one of the teams worth watching when the San Antonio Spurs begin making trade calls about Kawhi Leonard this offseason.

Leonard played in just nine games this season and averaged 16.2 points, 2.3 assists and 4.7 rebounds. Leonard is better than Irving, so perhaps it's time for the Suns to strike now, when they're armed with assets and an opportunity to trade for a transcendent player. It's also unclear if the Spurs would be willing to trade Leonard to the Lakers or to any team at all. The Spurs were also ready to offer him a supermax contract despite the tensions.

Additionally, even if Leonard prefers a certain destination, it won't stop others from pursuing him. Boston inquired about a trade before the February deadline, sources said.

Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving left and his teammates pause for a moment of silence for victims of the Las Vegas concert shooting prior to the team's NBA preseason basketball game against the Charlotte Hornets in Boston. (AP
NBA trade rumors: Spurs' Kawhi Leonard wants out of San Antonio

Los Angeles, of course, is Leonard's hometown, and the Lakers will probably be hungry for talent in the next few months. After all, the Lakers are among the leading suitors for LeBron James and perhaps Paul George, another Southern Californian who would like to return.

Markkanen would probably have to be packaged with the No. 7 overall pick in the upcoming draft.

Leonard helped the Spurs to an National Basketball Association championship in 2014, being named the Finals MVP in the process, while he is also a two-time All-Star as well as a two-time Defensive Player of the Year. If the Lakers ended up getting Leonard as well as George or James, it makes them an instant contender for the NBA Championship next season and going forth. They offered a deal to the Spurs, but they declined the trade and never sent a counter offer. If the reports are indeed true, the request makes for perhaps the biggest drama the Spurs franchise has seen in more than two decades. Though, with Friday's news that Leonard wants out, it brought up the "Did they ever meet?" question, and, if so, how did it result? The Boston Celtics were next at 15/4, followed by the Spurs and 76ers at 5/1 and the Clippers and Cleveland Cavaliers at 10/1.

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