Tony Parker‘s decision to sign with the Hornets won’t change Kawhi Leonard‘s desire to leave San Antonio, tweets Jordan Schultz of Yahoo Sports. Schultz notes that Leonard “remains irate” with Parker over what he considers a downplaying of his quad injury. However, the locker room dysfunction goes beyond the relationship between Leonard and Parker, Schultz adds.
A rival GM tells Schultz that the Spurs haven’t relented at all on their asking price for Leonard (Twitter link). The organization doesn’t care if Leonard is unhappy in San Antonio and is refusing to consider reduced offers to resolve the situation. Schultz speculates that the Leonard trade drama could last through most of the summer, just as Carmelo Anthony‘s did a year ago.
There’s more news on Leonard to pass along:
- Parker tells Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated that his reported feud with Leonard was blown out of proportion. “I have no problem with Kawhi Leonard,” Parker said. “We never had an argument. When the journalist asked me if my injury was worse than Kawhi’s, I said yes because it was true. But that didn’t lessen the significance of his injury. He took over the franchise and I gave up the torch of the franchise willingly. It’s very sad that the media took one quote and made it sound like I didn’t want to play with him. He was the face of the franchise.”
- If he gets traded to the Eastern Conference, the Sixers are the only team Leonard would consider re-signing with, ESPN’s Chris Haynes said in an appearance on The Jump. Los Angeles remains Leonard’s first choice, Haynes adds, but he would be open to a long-term deal in Philadelphia if he winds up there. He notes that Leonard would not be interested in a similar arrangement with the Celtics, who are another reported suitor.
- ESPN’s Michael C. Wright is the latest observer to say that the Clippers have overtaken the Lakers as Leonard’s preferred destination. Speaking on his podcast, Wright says “someone who would know” tells him that Leonard doesn’t want to be “second fiddle” to LeBron James with the Lakers. Wright adds that the Spurs aren’t impressed with anything the Clippers have to offer in a potential trade.
- Up to eight teams have done background work on a possible trade for Leonard, reports Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link). The Lakers, Clippers, Sixers and Celtics have been most prominently mentioned in trade rumors, but Kyler states that others are weighing the risks of a potential “rental” deal.