NBA Draft season has a way of reigning chaos down upon the league. Injury issues with potential top-five pick Michael Porter Jr. have consumed the news for the last few days, but Friday morning brought a fresh storyline.
Kawhi Leonard wants out from the San Antonio Spurs, league sources tell Yahoo.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 15, 2018
Kawhi Leonard wants out of San Antonio, league sources tell ESPN.— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) June 15, 2018
San Antonio's Kawhi Leonard has Los Angeles - preferably the Lakers - at the center of his preferences for a trade destination, league sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 15, 2018
Leonard played a total of nine games during the 2017-18 season due to a quad injury. His relationship with the Spurs has been a major topic of discussion throughout the year as he rehabbed away from the team.
The 26-year-old, two-time All-Star, is considered one of the best two-players in the league, and San Antonio will have plenty of suiters calling if they indeed put him on the trade block.
Will the Sacramento Kings jump in the conversation?
Another team to watch in the Kawhi sweepstakes: Sacramento. Kings have talked to teams about the No. 2 pick, per sources, and desperately want an established star.— Chris Mannix (@ChrisMannixYS) June 15, 2018
Sacramento is armed with the No. 2 overall pick, as well as plenty of young players to throw at the Spurs. The real question should be whether they should even consider a move like this.
Leonard is a star level player that almost any team in the league would love to add, but he's entering year four of a five-year, $94 million deal and he has a player option for the final year. He'll likely opt out and can become an unrestricted free agent next summer.
The Kings have chosen a patient approach to their rebuild. Adding a player like Leonard would jump start the process, but the cost would be enormous and it's unlikely they would get a commitment beyond the 2018-19 season.
A one-year rental of Leonard could set the franchise back years. It's hard to see the Kings making this type of gamble.