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ESPN Names 3 Teams Potential Trade Partners For Kawhi Leonard, Spurs

A picture of Kawhi Leonard from behind.

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 18: Kawhi Leonard #2 of the San Antonio Spurs looks on during the first half of a game against the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on November 18, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

Kawhi Leonard Trade Watch has entered another day. The San Antonio Spurs' All-Star forward reportedly requested a trade in early June. Roughly one month later, he remains a part of the Spurs' organization.

How much longer is this going to be the case? It could be a while.

Right now, there doesn't appear to be a likely trade partner for San Antonio. Three teams seem to be the favorites to land him:

  • Lakers
  • Sixers
  • Raptors

The Lakers (or the Clippers, but they don't have the assets) are reportedly Leonard's preferred destination, but Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka don't seem to be willing to give up the package the Spurs are asking for.

The same can be said of the Sixers. If Philadelphia was willing to include former No. 1 pick Markelle Fultz in a trade, something could probably get done. It doesn't look like that's going to happen, though.

This leaves us with the Raptors, who have been named the favorite to trade for Kawhi by the sportsbooks. A couple of days ago, new odds were released and Toronto was given EVEN odds.

ESPN outlined what kind of package it might take:

The most logical all-in play on the board is Toronto offering DeRozan, one of Pascal Siakam, Delon Wright, Jakob Poeltl, and OG Anunoby, and a future first-round pick. Upgrade from DeRozan to Leonard, and the Drakes have a real shot to make the NBA Finals. Maybe Leonard would love Toronto, and enjoy playing in May and June in front of that nutty crowd.

If Leonard walks, the damage isn't so severe. After this season, DeRozan will either opt in to $27.7 million or enter free agency seeking a mega-contract as he turns 30. But DeRozan is really good, Leonard is a huge flight risk, and my hunch is the Spurs would demand too much future stuff for Toronto's taste (if the it has any interest in the first place).

Trading for Kawhi and then watching him leave in free agency in 2019 would hurt, but it might be a risk the Raptors are willing to make. Neither the Lakers nor the Sixers appear to be willing to make that same risk.