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Published: Fri, June 22, 2018
Sport | By Billy Aguilar

Three reasons why Kawhi Leonard will never join LeBron in Cleveland

Three reasons why Kawhi Leonard will never join LeBron in Cleveland

San Antonio Spurs star Kawhi Leonard reportedly wants out.

The San Antonio Spurs and Kawhi Leonard have been at odds for most of the season.

Per the report, Kawhi wants to end up in his native Los Angeles - preferably with the Lakers. Things seemed to get worse, as Leonard played just nine games, then sat out, feeling he wasn't ready to play, despite the Spurs clearing him.

Leonard is due just over $20 million next season, and can become a free agent in the summer of 2019.

For the Knicks, the question will beckon: How much are they willing to give up for an MVP candidate who plays elite defense, but also commands a hefty price?

The Lakers now must go to their plan B, and build a trade package around either Brandon Ingram or Kyle Kuzma, two players they'd otherwise like to build around.

In the case of the Atlanta Hawks, swapping Kent Bazemore and the number 3 overall pick for Kawhi Leonard gives the Hawks a piece to trade at the deadline and the Spurs an even better draft pick.

The Spurs were reduced to giving only cryptic answers about Leonard's status. He wants to be traded. He is one of the best two-way players in the National Basketball Association and Leonard is definitely a top-10 player in the National Basketball Association and he might be even a top-5 player, depending who you ask. Per ESPN, Boston could send Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown, and Guerschon Yabusele to the Spurs to get Leonard.

The New York Knicks have the least to offer of any team on this list, but they can offer the biggest market and a team that has been beyond desperate for success for decades. For Brooklyn, bowing out of the Leonard sweepstakes and allowing other teams to duke it out is their best course of action. However, the Knicks have a history of nearly entertainingly short-sighted trades. "It's hard to see how they can work a deal for Leonard, who has only one year left on his contract". They might not have the glamor of Los Angeles or the enticing treasure trove of assets like the Celtics. If Pop and Engelland can't turn Fultz around, one could argue that nobody could. The Grizzlies will most likely be sellers at the trade deadline this year and could move Leonard, if they so chose, and perhaps get a haul of draft picks or multiple assets.

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