Report: Spurs not open to trading Kawhi Leonard in Western Conference
Amid the injury controversy surrounding Kawhi Leonard, it seems the San Antonio Spurs have been exploring trade possibilities. It has been reported that the Los Angeles Lakers would make a big push for Leonard. However, it does not seem likely Leonard will end up in L.A., according to OCR:
“It’s one of Popovich’s cardinal rules not to help Western Conference rivals, much less one with the tradition and resources of the Lakers.
Popovich almost never says a bad word about another team, but he went bonkers in 2008 when Memphis traded Pau Gasol to the post-Shaquille O’Neal Lakers, setting them up for three consecutive Finals runs and two titles.
“What they did in Memphis is beyond comprehension,” Popovich said at the time. “… I just wish I had been on a trade committee that oversees NBA trades. I’d like to elect myself to that committee. I would have voted no to the L.A. trade.”
Leonard’s future with San Antonio is very cloudy, as of now. Leonard has a player option during the 2019 offseason, opening the door for departure from San Antonio. Leonard has also been looking at a possible contract extension with the Spurs, which has been rumored to be as big as the “supermax” contract.
Leonard’s injury situation is still mysterious — he has not been on the bench with his teammates, and has been cleared by the Spurs to return to basketball. If there is dysfunction with Kawhi, it would be smart for the Spurs to trade Kawhi to the East, and get something substantial in return.
Meanwhile, the Spurs, without Gregg Popovich who is mourning the passing of his wife, face elimination Sunday, being down 3-0 to the Golden State Warriors.