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If the Spurs make the decision to trade Leonard, that would be an exceptional return, even though L.A. would likely become a playoff team and next year’s pick won’t be very high. Several things have to happen to get to that point. First, Leonard has to turn down a supermax offer and the Spurs need to be convinced he will opt out and become a free agent next summer. Next, the Lakers have to strike on Plan A, which is to get LeBron James with either Paul George or DeMarcus Cousins in free agency. The Lakers like Ingram an awful lot, and Kuzma has shown he has a bright future. If L.A. is willing to make this offer for Leonard, it may be the best one the Spurs get.
Does anyone want to talk about the East vs West disparity in talent? Does anyone think the Sixers would sweep the Pels? The East seems overmatched in talent. — CH O, via Twitter
The West has enjoyed better talent for a few years, but young teams in the East are cutting into that disparity. The Rockets and Warriors would probably be favored against any Eastern team in the Finals, but the rest of the seeds are much more even: Trail Blazers vs. Sixers, Thunder vs. Cavaliers, Jazz vs. Pacers, Pelicans vs. Heat, Spurs vs. Bucks and Timberwolves vs. Wizards. These things go in cycles, but it wouldn’t be surprising if the Celtics, Sixers or Bucks become the NBA’s next dominant team.
Both were two-way players who saw significant playing time during their 45-day NBA limits, and statistically Wallace was quite a bit better. Williams played 38 games, started 17, and averaged 5.5 points and 1.1 assists per night. Wallace saw action in 30 games, starting 19, and averaged 9.7 points and 2.4 assists. Williams also turned 28 in February, while Wallace is still 23, so he seems like the better long-term investment. Ultimately, it came down to money. Williams was willing to accept a contract with no guarantees for the next two seasons, while Wallace’s representatives were seeking a better deal. They may both be back with the Clippers next season, but Wallace can take a shot at free agency first.