Kawhi Leonard trade speculation roars on. As we get farther along, it seems more likely that he’ll be dealt somewhere other than the Lakers, though there are few teams that could complete a deal that the Spurs may want.
ESPN’s Zach Lowe and Rachel Nichols and Bleacher Report’s Howard Beck discussed a range of NBA issues on the latest episode of “The Lowe Post” podcast, from Las Vegas.
At the very end of the episode, which dropped today, Nichols prompts the two analysts to predict where Kawhi Leonard will end up, before answering the question herself.
Here is what the three NBA insiders predicted for an upcoming Kawhi Leonard trade:
You can listen to the full episode of “The Lowe Post” here.
Nichols: “Can we do a quick lightning round on what we think will happen with Kawhi Leonard.”
Lowe: “He gets traded to a non-Lakers team… Toronto.”
Nichols: “You don’t really think that.”
Lowe: “Philadelphia’s the easy answer that I believe the most, but Toronto’s more fun and crazy. I think he gets traded to a non-Lakers team.”
Beck: “The obvious answer is Philly, and the most logical one on so many different levels. But if we’re going to have a fun ‘Just send him somewhere,’ I don’t know what Milwaukee could do for him, but Giannis (Antetokounmpo) and Kawhi together? That’d be interesting. By the way, Milwaukee’s one of those teams that has to start taking some risks, better risks than they have taken, because the clock’s ticking on Giannis.
Nichols: “You talk about closing windows. I think the one thing that keeps me scratching my head wth Lakers construction is that these are a bunch of one-year deals to hold in place and wait for next summer, and all that. LeBron James is turning 34 this year. I know that he just finished a great season and a fantastic post-season, but if you’ve watched LeBron James for his entire career, you can seen, even in this exceptional season and post-season, little things in his game that have already been concessions to age.
They will only increase as he goes forward. He is turning 34, no matter how durable, and amazing, and remarkable he has been able to stretch this run to. That will change. And if you wait until the year he’s turning 35 to pair him with another superstar, I just think the possibility of what you can see with one of the greatest players of all time diminish if you don’t move quickly.
Lowe generally agrees with Nichols about moving on Leonard, if he is healthy. He stops short on trading Brandon Ingram, while Nichols says she would move the former No. 2 overall pick if it means getting Leonard. The Paul George situation definitely changes the game when it comes to acquiring a player on the final year of his deal, but Leonard’s injury situation makes this a very tricky one.