Published: Fri, June 22, 2018
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Spurs will not actively shop Kawhi Leonard despite trade rumours

Spurs will not actively shop Kawhi Leonard despite trade rumours

The Spurs shot downKawhi Leonard trade offers before the trade deadline. Leonard will eventually alert rival teams considering trades for him that his intention is to sign in Los Angeles when he can become a free agent in 2019, league sources said.

According to ESPN, the Lakers have reached out to the Spurs with a trade proposal, but San Antonio essentially slammed the door in Los Angeles' face when it made its request. For weeks, Popovich has been working to set up a meeting with Leonard to discuss the issues that have fractured the franchise's relationship with the All-NBA forward and caused him to make public his desire to be traded, league sources said. He met with Gregg Popovich this week in San Diego, reportedly directly telling the president-coach he wants out.

Clearly they'd rather not move on from inarguably one of the top five or so players in the National Basketball Association, and their current stance is completely reflective of that belief. They likely won't consider trading him to a team on the rise in the Western Conference, nor have they lost leverage simply because Kawhi has a preferred trade destination.

Leonard is a two-time All-Star, but he played just nine games in 2017-18 as he recovered from multiple injuries. Offering Love and the 8th pick along with a couple of sweeteners seems like solid value for a player who may not re-sign - with the Cavs or the Spurs - following the season.

LaMarcus Aldridge asked to be traded last summer when he was unhappy with the Spurs. "I can't imagine being more proud of a player as far as playing through adversity and being there for his teammates night after night after night", Popovich told reporters during the playoffs.

San Antonio has no choice but to get more aggressive in handling Leonard's future.

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