The San Antonio Spurs reportedly will not be trading Kawhi Leonard to a Western Conference team, despite the All-Star forward heavily preferring to end up in Los Angeles. This means, of course, that if Leonard is shipped out, it'll be to an Eastern Conference team.
"Fellow West teams have been told, in essence, to get lost – none moreso than the Lakers, according to ESPN. As it stands, the Spurs are determined to either fix the situation or trade Leonard to an Eastern Conference team. For teams other than the Lakers, the threat of losing Leonard in free agency next summer makes the prospect of offering meaningful assets a complicated, calculated risk," USA TODAY reports.
Who's going to trade for Leonard, then? The Celtics? The Cavs? The Sixers? Someone else?
The Ringer's Bill Simmons now believes there's a "heavy favorite" to land him.
"Philly has to be heavy favs - cap space to absorb Kawhi/Patty Mills plus 3 of Fultz/Saric/Covington/ZSmith plus that killer 2021 Miami pick plus Bayless expiring," he tweeted.
Philadelphia has been mentioned as a top destination for LeBron James, too - maybe they can even get both - but Leonard would actually be a better "fit" next to Ben Simmons, who wouldn't have to play off of the ball.
It doesn't seem like San Antonio is in any rush to move Leonard, though, so this is a process that could take a while to take shape.
NBA free agency, meanwhile, is set to begin on July 1. The Sixers are reportedly doing everything they can to clear a max contract slot for James. Stay tuned.