Kawhi Leonard could be the whale for the Miami Heat who Pat Riley talks about so often.
Shams Charania tweeted that Leonard might be available if communications between him and San Antonio Spurs totally break down.
Story: Spurs star and 2014 Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard wants trade out of San Antonio: https://t.co/3SoWrtXlt4— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 15, 2018
Story: Spurs star and 2014 Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard wants trade out of San Antonio.
Leonard has become uncomfortable with any future with the Spurs — because of overall mistrust stemming from the organization’s handling of his quadriceps injury during the past year — and is prepared to move on immediately, league sources said.
Adrian Wojnarowski wrote that the large market of Los Angeles is his favorite landing spot.
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
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.
That personal choice of his makes the Pacific Conference even more lopsided in basketball talent.
- Golden State Warriors
- Los Angeles Clippers
- Los Angeles Lakers
- Phoenix Suns
- Sacramento Kings
ESPN chimed in with a potential trade package between the Heat and Spurs.
Heat get: Kawhi Leonard and Patty Mills
Spurs get: Goran Dragic, Josh Richardson, Justise Winslow and Bam Adebayo
André Snellings: “The Heat can put together an intriguing mix of an All-Star point guard and three young players with upside in exchange for Leonard and Mills, whose outsized salary is guaranteed for three more years.
“Dragic, a Spurs draftee in 2008 who was traded to Phoenix, is a proven producer at the Spurs’ biggest position of weakness. His aggressive scoring style with a strong jumper and pick-and-roll game would mesh well with LaMarcus Aldridge. Adebayo came out of the 2017 lottery with an impressive rookie season and would give the team a young, talented big man to develop behind the aging Pau Gasol.
“Winslow and Richardson are both Spurs-style wings -- long, athletic and defensive-minded. Both would be significant upgrades from what the Spurs currently have on the wing, and Winslow in particular has the tools to potentially replicate Leonard’s defensive contributions from his early years.”
As a side note, Winslow is a Texas native and Richardson is from the neighboring state of Oklahoma, so they would be hometown heroes in a sense.
That would give Miami a starting five of
PG - Patty Mills
SG - Dion Waiters
SF- Kawhi Leonard
PF- James Johnson
C - Hassan Whiteside
That’s a viable trade idea that would give the Spurs young players who fit their style of play and would compliment their prize addition of Aldridge.
Miami would still have the services of Dwyane Wade, Kelly Olynyk, Tyler Johnson, Rodney McGruder and possibly Wayne Ellington.
With the 2018 NBA Draft next week, player movement in the next month or two will be unpredictable due to the limited cap available for most teams and the Golden State Warriors juggernaut a mighty hurdle to overcome.