Leonard Trade Rumors: Lakers, Kings, Knicks, Celtics, Odds

It would be a tight squeeze financially but the Lakers could conceivably acquire Kawhi Leonard in a trade and sign both LeBron James and Paul George as free agents, according to Kevin Pelton of ESPN.com. Leonard’s desire to be traded from the Spurs, with Los Angeles being his preferred destination, was made public on Friday. The trade would have to be completed before any free agent signings and the Spurs would have to be willing to take back Luol Deng‘s bad contract, Pelton continues. A package of either Lonzo Ball or Brandon Ingram and Kyle Kuzma might be enough to entice the Spurs to do that, though a third team might be needed in order to match up salaries. The Lakers could then sign James and George, and fill out the roster using their room mid-level exception along with veterans agreeing to minimum contracts, Pelton adds.

In other notes involving Leonard trade chatter:

  • The Kings could be a darkhorse to land Leonard, Chris Mannix of Yahoo Sports tweets. Sacramento is desperately seeking a star-level talent and is willing to part with the No. 2 pick in the draft to get one, according to Mannix.
  • The Knicks would have to part with Kristaps Porzingis to have any chance of securing Leonard, Marc Berman of the New York Post speculates. The only other major assets the Knicks possess are their lottery pick (No. 9 overall), their potential lottery pick in 2020 and last year’s lottery selection, point guard Frank Ntilikina. But the Knicks could only trade one of those picks under CBA rules and they’d also have to give up another big salary to make the trade work, Berman notes.
  • The Celtics are expected to express interest in Leonard in their quest to land superstars, Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe reports. However, a league source told Himmelsbach that the timing of the leak might actually be a negotiating ploy to secure a five-year, $219MM maximum extension from the Spurs.
  • The Lakers are the heavy favorites to land Leonard, according to the Bovada Sportsbook as relayed by Adam Zagoria of the New York Times (Twitter link). The Lakers are less than even money at 5-7 to have Leonard in their opening-night lineup. The Celtics are rated at 15-4, a little less than 4-1, to acquire Leonard. The Sixers and Spurs are next as 5-1 proposition, followed by the Cavaliers and Clippers at 10-1.
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53 thoughts on “Leonard Trade Rumors: Lakers, Kings, Knicks, Celtics, Odds

    • Dionis

      The Cavs could move Love and the 8th pick, they’d likely have to add a 3rd team to make the offer more appeasing for San Antonio though.

  1. driftcat28

    It’d be pretty awkward if after all this Kawhi signed an extension in SA

  2. imindless

    Theortically it works. Hearing spurs want lonzo and ingram if they make the jump. A rotation of
    Thomas bryant/zubac/1st rounder (if not traded to sas)/resign lopez to vet min

    Zubac/thomas bryant

    Would be crazy although not sure its enough to take down the warriors.

    • the dude

      Bron ain’t going to LA. Even so that bench is terrible and hart as your starter is gross. And I’m a die hard Celtics fan, hate the Lakers so much. This though would be up there with the final game in the GP/Malone experiment. Or right in line with Nash and Howard.

      • MafiaBass

        I want him to go to LA. He is our villain. The Lakers are historically our arch nemesis. Let’s get this done, then get back to BEAT LA chants

      • imindless

        Sorry to burst your bubble bro, but celtics arent winning anything for a long time. No matter with or without kyrie and hayward added to your squad celtics arent beating gsw, houston and potentially the lakers if all falls into place. Thats why they are so desperate to trade young assets for stars m. So I can see where the hate and animosity come from.

        • imindless

          Also hart is a solid shooter and a great defender, down the stretch showed he can be a primary scorer averaging like 20+ points. Whats gross is your hate toward your rival, do I detect a hint of apprehension?

        • MafiaBass

          I’m not sure what you’re saying, because I don’t think Boston is desperate to do anything.

    • Djones246890

      Its not enough to take down the Warriors. The Warriors are a well-oiled machine that’s firing on all cylinders.

  3. Who was chattering that the Spurs might take Deng? I don’t think there’s a package the Lakers could come up with that would convince the Spurs to do that. Their tradable young players have shown little to nothing, except Kuzma in a backup role, and he’s a pedestrian athlete. Ingrahm is less valuable than any top 10 pick, maybe any top 15, at least in this draft. Maybe the Knicks can rationally pursue KL if the Spurs are really willing to take on Deng, then Noah should be an easy sell. The Knicks can trade rights to #9 and 2019 (top 4 protected for a year or two) – yes, they can do it (arranged before the draft, and trade is after – it’s more common than not for draft day deals). Considering the Knicks’ history of trading top picks (and the teams built with them), no basketball personnel guy would think that’s a lesser package than Ingrahm and Kuzma. Neither of those Knicks’ picks will be looking for 25 mm next Fall even though he can’t play dead. The Knicks are in the East. It will deny the Lakers the chance to create a new big 3. For the Knicks, at that price, I’ll take KL as a rental (who knows, he might like playing at MSG, and the worse case is I’m off Noah’s contract). Done. Oh wait, too bad that was Laker fan’s fantasy.

    • Chris

      Breh… number one Ingram has the highest value and upside of anyone on the Lakers. Number two, the only reason Deng was brought up was to make salaries match and to give the Lakers enough cap space to sign LeBron and PG13. But in the end this isn’t happening, at least I hope not

      • If he’s got the highest upside, then nobody has much.
        A matching contract isn’t needed to complete the deal. From the Lakers standpoint certainly they would certainly want to include Deng to match so they can keep their cap space, but why would SA, with that pathetic yield, agree? To facilitate the Lakers getting a big 3?

        • imindless

          Bro you obviously dont watch basketball….ingrams numbers and progression are inline with the greek freak. Dudes 20 years old and averaged 16.2 in his second year and improved his shooting percentage and defense from his first year. You come across as a bigger hater, apprehensive fan of a rival squad?

    • x%sure

      Kevin Pelton the chatterer apparently thinks this ia a good trade:

      Kawhi for Deng, Kuzma, & Ball.
      Well it is theoretically possible!
      But why would the Spurs agree to it? Because I guess Leonard would threaten to sit out another year if he doesn’t get what he wants. And this is the guy PHL and BOS fans want instead of James. Disgusting.

      Anyway. Deng, Kuzma and Ball together barely has positive trade value. One year of Leonard, if that is all he can offer a team, should draw more. But if Spurs are patient, and the Lakers fill up, Kawhi will not have that outlet. The Knicks at least could be confident he will re-sign.

      • MafiaBass

        I don’t want either of them. Lebron is my arch villain and Kawhi came off as a quitter this year.

      • This is spot on. I know ESPN and league are DESPERATE to have Leonard in LAL but they’re best young asset is AT BEST on par than each of these: Brown (Celtics), Kristaps (Knicks), or Fultz (Philly). But then you factor they have shitty draft assets, and then on top of that they want the Spurs to take Dengs bs deal. No freakin way.

        Frankly the of LA team has a better package between Harris, 12, 13 and future picks

    • bknowledge

      DXC could this trade work:
      OKC gets Aldridge and Patty Mills
      Lakers get Paul George and Kawhi
      Spurs get Luol Deng, Carmelo, Kuzma, Lonzo, and Ingram
      The Lakers get PG/Kawhi/Lebron for a about 75 mil leaving them with a lot of extra money to spend in free agency (because its cheaper to acquire PG via trade and then extend him afterwards rather than signing him as a free agent). And they shed Luol Deng’s toxic contract.
      OKC gets an all-star (Aldridge) that fits with Westbrook and is under contract for several years.
      The Spurs get a fresh start with young talent but they’ll be saddled with bad contracts for a few years.

  4. acarneglia

    Hornets: Kawhi, Patty Mills, 1st rd pick 2018
    Spurs: Kemba, Dwight, Monk, 1st rd pick 2018

    • stug14

      Why on earth would they want Dwight? Doesn’t fit the system, overpaid and doesn’t hustle.

  5. southbeachbully

    Here’s a sexy pitch. We all know LBJ values cerebral high IQ players. With no disrespect to Lue or Mike Brown, LBJ has never had a legendary head coach like Phil Jackson or Pat Riler (arguably the two greatest coaches in the last 30 years). How about a Spurs, Cavs and Kings trade?

    Spurs get LBJ
    Sac get Leonard and JR Smith
    Cavs get Sac’s #1, Gasol and from Sac, Randolph and Temple


    • bravesfan88

      LBJ wouldn’t want to go to the Spurs without Kawai…

      Also, there’s a reason LBJ chooses to only play for coaches that will play second fiddle to him…He wants to be able to have the final say on the court. Pop would NEVER go for that..So, even with Kawai, I highly doubt LeBron goes to the Spurs…

      What about the 76ers trading for Kawai?? What maybe Covington, Fultz, and a future 1st rounder or two..?? Maybe add in Saric?? Either way, the Spurs are not going to get equal value for Leonard…This way, they’ll at least get his replacement in Covington, two promising, young players in Fultz and Saric, and a couple 1st rounders for equity moving forward…All while not having to take on a bad contract…

      I doubt they’d do it, but I’ve certainly heard worse proposals..lol

      • knickscavsfan

        I think you’re wrong. LBJ has spoke glowingly about Pop over the years and craves stability. He also spoke recently about wanting to be around cerebral players (and coaches for that matter). There’s no way a Pop coached team would not remind all players that there’s a timeout left before a game defining FT is taken. I think LBJ has HAD to do those things. He absolutely wasn’t calling ANY shots in Miami and he gives credit to the mentor-ship, attention to detail and focus on conditioning and preparation he learned under Riley, although of course he wasn’t the coach. He would absolutely relish the chance to be led by Pop and a collective of players that accomplished what they did in 2018 without Leonard on the floor for most off the season. They would of course need to add another piece or two but they wouldn’t need to be a mega stay kind of player. I think vets like Redick or A. Bradley would love to join a team with LBJ on it and Pop as the coach.

        • Djones246890

          I disagree. LeBron needs to be “the coach” otherwise he’ll pout and throw a tantrum, like the baby huey that he is.

          Do you have any idea how many times he deliberately ran other plays and bumped Spoelstra, while he was in Miami?

          He wouldn’t be able to handle Popovich, because he’s (Popovich) a real alpha male that would throw LeBron off the team if he showed him up. There’s no way LeBron could deal with that.

    • bennyg

      You missed out the part that LBJ would have to opt IN to his last year of his current contract in order to be traded, instead of just walking to whichever team he wants as a Free Agent

  6. Itrainsontuesday

    I still think the best offers for the Spurs I’ve heard are from Bos and Philly. Boston trading either Horford or Hayward with Jaylen Brown with contracts to match of lesser players or Philly trading Fultz, Covington, and their 10 pick with contracts to match. And it puts Leonard in the East for at least 1 year.

    • yoyo137

      If they could get Horford, Jaylen, and 2 firsts, that’s definitely the best offer they’d get. I don’t think Danny Ainge is the type of guy to make that trade.

    • yoyo137

      My bad I didn’t see you didn’t mention any picks, I think they’d have to give up a pick of decent value too

    • slapnuts

      On what planet is Markel Fultz going to get you Kawhi? Certainly not this one…

  7. Z-A

    If he is intent on going year by year to recoup money hell lose in Super Max, then just wait for him next year in FA. Let the Lakers trade for him. If the Sixers give up a ton of assets for 1 year of Kawhi they may start riots. They have this offseason and next to not bleep it up and sign a big ticket FA. I prefer handing out money over trading assets. The more I think about it the more I hate the idea of trading for him.

  8. OCTraveler

    I would approve of any trade that sent Ball and his father packing

  9. cesc

    Lakers cannot trade young guys for Kawhi, he isn’t that good as to get specially Ball, but neither Ingram or Kuzma.
    Also never would I give up Fultz & Dario for him.

    • Z-A

      Woah.. he is that good. When healthy he is top 2 2way top 3. Its LeBron, Durant, Kawhi, then Curry/Harden/Davis/Westbrook/Giannis in whatever order.

      • formerlyz

        This guy hates Kawhi. I’ve noticed it over a couple of weeks. He obviously didnt see him play his last 2 seasons.

  10. So wait, on top of two underwhelming young players, LAL wants the Spurs to take back Deng’s deal? Wow, Peyton.

    Hey ESPN, just bc YOU want it to happen really really badly doesn’t mean it’s going to happen.

    If I’m Spurs, I’d rather see if Philly gives me the same deal they’re rumored to offer for LeBron. Fultz, Saric, Covington, 10th

    • Z-A

      Philly is not trading for LeBron. LeBron is opting out. If he goes to Houston you’ll know bc he opts in.

  11. bknowledge

    People seem to think the Spurs will accept a garbage trade for Kawhi. As tho they have no leverage. A lot can happen in a year. If the Spurs just keep him, he’ll be on an expiring contract. If he plays poorly, he’s reducing his value in next summer’s free agency. If he plays like an mvp, the Spurs will be able to offer him a lot more money than other teams because he’ll be super max eligible again for them next summer but not for other teams. And, maybe the Lakers don’t have money to spend next summer; they have money now, but there’s no guarantee they will next summer; or that any other desirable team will have money. If Kahwi comes back and plays like an mvp candidate, the Spurs have a shot at making the NBA finals. Even a single year of going to the NBA finals has a lot of value to a franchise. So I don’t see the Spurs taking a bad offer (like accepting Luol Deng’s toxic contract); but if they get a very solid offer, then maybe.

    • Z-A

      Thing is, no one has seen him play in a game in over 5 months.

      If you wait this out until Februrary and he doesnt look like Kawhi, then he was an idiot for not signing the extension, and the Spurs wont get anything for him. If he wants to do this year to year then some inkling he is healthy but, why didnt ge show up for the playoffs then if he was ready to go? If he is going year to year on you, what happens if he has a small injury at the end of the season, he needs to rest for next years contract and maybe he pulls out.

    • formerlyz

      More years left on Patty Mills than Deng, and I think the Spurs would be able to figure out that Deng is a 4/5, not a 3, which the Lakers couldn’t figure out, even after he spent the last several months with the Heat at that position, and that’s what got him paid in the first place

  12. bknowledge

    I can see the Lakers with Lebron/PG/Kawhi: if they trade Ingram, Kuzma, and Frye for Kahwi. Then they package Ball + Deng in exchange for role players. Then sign PG and Lebron. They’d have Lebron/PG/Kawhi plus the role players they get back in the Ball/Deng trade.

  13. Natergater77

    Not a Spurs or Pelican fan, but curious if anyone thinks this would work.

    Kahwi signs extension and NO resigns Cousins to max deal and they are traded for one another. Possibly the teams swap draft picks as well, but I mean Kahwi with Davis seems like a good fit and then Cousins gets to learn from Pop and play next to Aldridge. Not sure if numbers on the deals will work or if others would need to be added but seems like a good fit for all.

    • formerlyz

      If Kawhi were to be extended, they couldn’t trade him for a significant amount of time

      • Natergater77

        Typically sign and trade extensions are worked so the player agrees to sign the extension with his new team, thus eliminating the no trade rule. I should have made it more clear.

  14. greg1

    Hate to say it, but Kawhi asking out signals the end of the Spurs dynasty. Today’s players have no ability to be selfless, questioned or play for a butt buster coach. The days of Duncan, Manu and Tony are gone, sacrificing for your team, accept criticism and dealing with issues internally instead of through social media.

    Kawhi seeks his own medical staff, doesn’t tell the Spurs anything, results are not shared with the team who pays him, and then feels disrespected when called into question. Another superstar baby, and honestly not the guy I expected it from. LMA was a problem, but that seems to be resolved, partially because he became the focal point again this year with Kawhi out. The Spurs way has become a dinosaur, not for the merits of their system, but that today’s NBA player can’t get over themselves enough to see the benefits of it.

    Good riddance Claw.

    • knickscavsfan

      Is that the case or isn’t more factual that the Spurs had their own medical reports from their own staff and then Kawhi went to another med examiner who diagnosed the same test results differently? Second opinions don’t mean different tests performed. It just means it was diagnosed or interpreted differently.

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