By Peter Gleason
The Sixers may still have eyes for the Spurs’ Kawhi Leonard, which would require a ton of assets to complete a trade.
But according to Stephen A. Smith of ESPN, NBA executives believe Leonard is willing to sit out the 2018-19 NBA season in effort to put pressure on the Spurs:
“Because of the personality of Kawhi Leonard and what transpired last season, they said to me, ‘Don’t rule out the possibility of Kawhi Leonard sitting out next season before he’s willing to come back to the San Antonio Spurs.’ That’s how badly he wants out. That’s how badly he wants to remain in L.A. … Now, again, these are what executives and league folks are saying. I did not hear this from Kawhi’s camp. I did not hear this from Kawhi Leonard.”
After dealing with a right quadriceps injury, Leonard averaged 16.2 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 2.3 assists in just nine games. While there appeared to be opportunities for the two-time All-Star to return during the 2017-18 season, he was eventually shut down.
While the Spurs are reportedly seeking multiple prospects and draft picks, they simply do not have the leverage.