According to the sources, Leonard is eyeing Los Angeles, preferably the Lakers, as his preference for a trade destination. That leaves Randle, Kuzma and draft picks as the best available assets to add to a deal, which may not be all that appealing to San Antonio.
Leonard has only made two All-Star teams but is nonetheless regarded as one of the NBA's best players, even though he only played nine games previous year because of a quad injury that drove a wedge between him and the Spurs over how to care for it. He did not appear in a game since January 13 and did not play during the playoffs.
Kawhi Leonard isn't concerned about missing out on the supermax, sources tell ESPN. They could still make the offer to Leonard before honoring his wishes for a trade.
However, that doesn't necessarily mean Lakers fans should run out and buy purple and gold Leonard jerseys.
ESPN reports that Leonard has communicated with Popovich in recent days but that the two have yet to speak in person. The news may also have an impact on the buzz around LeBron James coming to San Antonio if he chooses to opt out of his contract and become a free agent. The Celtics initially reached out regarding Leonard prior to the February trade deadline, but their proposition was declined with no counterproposal.
The bombshell report comes a day after Tim Duncan and Popovich reportedly met with Leonard in NY to convince him to come back.
Leonard's current deal with the Spurs is scheduled to pay him around $20.1 million in 2018-19, with a player option worth around $21.3 million for the 2019-2020 season. Leonard graduated from King High School in Riverside and had two standout seasons at San Diego State before the Spurs drafted him 15th overall in the 2011 draft.
The NBA off-season is heating up and the draft is only a week away. Acquiring Leonard would play a big part in that regard.
"If the Spurs are considering Spellman, the move does make sense".