The Sixers have “consistently remained atop the list of teams expected to land” Kawhi Leonard in a trade, Tim Bontemps of The Washington Post writes in his latest look at the Leonard situation. In Bontemps’ view, Philadelphia’s ability to acquire Leonard may hinge on the team’s willingness to add Markelle Fultz to an offer. If Fultz is on the table, it’ll be hard for another team to top the 76ers’ offer, says Bontemps.
Keith Pompey of Philly.com also revisits the Sixers’ interest in Leonard, writing that the team is confident it could convince the star forward to stay in Philadelphia for longer than one year if he’s traded. However, the 76ers are willing to walk away from the Kawhi sweepstakes if the Spurs‘ asking price remains high, as principal owner Josh Harris hinted on Monday.
“If the right situation comes where we can acquire someone that can really add value to our program and the cost of it isn’t prohibitive, then we’ll move forward and do that,” Harris said, per Pompey. “But if that doesn’t come along for whatever reason, then we’ll keep moving forward with our program.”
As Pompey details, the Spurs keep trying to “raise the ante” in Leonard talks, telling clubs that another team is offering more for the two-time Defensive Player of the Year. Pompey suggests that Robert Covington, Dario Saric, and Miami’s 2021 first-round pick would be a realistic package from the Sixers’ side, but notes that the Spurs are believed to be seeking three first-round picks in addition to those two players.
Here’s more on Leonard:
- Within his look at the Leonard situation, Bontemps writes that the Raptors have “generated buzz” as a potential destination for the Spurs star. ESPN’s Zach Lowe wrote last week about the possibility of Toronto being a wild-card team in the Kawhi sweepstakes, suggesting that they could offer a package centered around one of their All-Star guards, a young player, and a first-round pick.
- One aspect of the Leonard saga that frustrated the Spurs during the 2017/18 season was repeatedly believing he was on the verge of returning to the court, only to be informed he wasn’t coming back after all, per Michael C. Wright of ESPN.com. Dan Feldman of NBC Sports relays Wright’s comments on that subject from an appearance on the Back to Back podcast.
- Ben Rohrbach of Yahoo Sports rounds up several of the Leonard rumors from the last week or so in an informative article.