The price for Leonard would have to include some combination of Josh Hart, Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram and more.
It's been reported before that Los Angeles is Leonard's preferred trade destination - with the Lakers being the favoured landing spot over the Clippers - so it makes sense that Lakers president Magic Johnson and GM Rob Pelinka would be in hot pursuit of Leonard. A Southern California native, Leonard reportedly wants to defect to the Lakers, but that team has a hard choice to make in terms of how many assets to offer the Spurs in a trade, as opposed to possibly being able to wait a year and sign him in free agency. It's widely believed that James is hesitant to be the first star player to sign with the Lakers while recent reports indicate George might re-sign with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Second, if he doesn't pan out, at worst he could be a "placeholder" to preserve their cap space so that they could give it another try next summer when Klay Thompson, Kawhi Leonard, Kyrie Irving and Kemba Walker, among others, may be free agents.
The Spurs are reportedly seeking a "massive package" of young talent and draft picks for Leonard.
But what if they strike out on James, George and Leonard in the next few weeks?
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No matter what happens during his free agency, we'll always have the 2016 season. The agent reasoned that Spurs coach Gregg Popovich only wants to compete for championships, and keeping Leonard helps him accomplish that, regardless of Leonard's wishes.
With that, teams have reportedly engaged San Antonio in trade talks. At the end of the 2018-19 season, the two sides could say goodbye and move on. That could mean that the Lakers may only be desperate for a little while longer.
The trio of reporters also mentioned that the Lakers are receiving pressure to acquire Leonard before James thinks about committing to signing with them.
But they do have the assets to make a better trade offer than the Lakers.