Leonard would like to be traded from the Spurs this offseason.
While Kawhi Leonard is reportedly interested in a move to Los Angeles, Tani Ganguli of the Los Angeles Times has reported that both the Lakers and Clippers have reservations about making a move for the Spurs superstar.
"These guys want to go and play in front of their home towns and in front of their families", said Payton of the two L.A. natives, according to ESPN Los Angeles. "But I'm not sure a Leonard/Love deal would have much interest to the Spurs, who would want multiple assets".
For the Cavaliers, they'd be far worse off if they dealt the pick and brought in Leonard just to see him miss the majority of the season and then dart to LA anyway. James opts into the final year of his contract in Cleveland to play with Leonard for a year. The Thunder lost Kevin Durant, the second best player in the National Basketball Association and one of the greatest scores the league has ever seen, for literally nothing.
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The 26-year-old played only nine games this year as he was sidelined for the majority of the season with a quad injury.
Whatever happens in the next month or so will determine the direction of the Lakers future. And there's always a possible reunion with Irving (or Leonard, if he ends up there) as well as All-Star Gordon Hayward and star rookie Jayson Tatum in Boston.
Given the situation however, would the Clippers pull the trigger on a trade if they were unsure Kawhi would resign with them once his contract is up next year?
And if the Lakers ultimately decide against trading for Leonard, they may still be in position to pursue him as a free agent next summer.