NBA free agency is well underway, but we don’t seem to be any closer to a potential trade with San Antonio Spurs star Kawhi Leonard. The two-time Defensive Player of the Year made it clear he wants out of San Antonio.
So why is he a still on the Spurs? Well, Gregg Popovich and R.C. Buford don’t play to let their star player go for just anything, and trade discussions reportedly haven’t been pleasant.
Multiple teams have been in contact with the Spurs on a potential trade. The Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers are hoping to capitalize on the fact that Leonard allegedly wants to play in L.A., but several other teams have inserted themselves in conversations.
The Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers are two other teams in the hunt. NBA insider Chris Sheridan is suggesting that a six-time All-Star could be the key to a Kawhi Leonard trade.
[The Spurs] are examining all options — one of which is sending Gasol to Philly in order to bring back the bushel full of assets that the Sixers are more than willing to mix and match.
Pau Gasol is entering the final season of a three-year, $48 million contract that he signed with San Antonio, and his expiring deal and his non-expiring institutional wisdom are piquing the interest of Brett Brown…
Trading Leonard and Gasol would alleviate significant cap pressure for the Spurs. However, the team is already asking for significant pieces from other teams in regard to a Leonard-based trade, so adding Gasol to the mix certainly won’t ease the asking price.
Gasol has two more years on his deal with the Spurs, which will pay him an average annual salary of $16 million. Are the Spurs willing to move Kawhi if it means shedding contracts?