Kawhi Leonard is still a member of the San Antonio Spurs. For now.
After much speculation, San Antonio did not end up trading Leonard to the Los Angeles Lakers prior to LeBron James deciding to sign with the purple-and-gold. Meanwhile Leonard has reportedly had other suitors, including the Philadelphia 76ers.
But now that LeBron’s opt-out date with the Cleveland Cavaliers has come and passed, and his decision has been made, the Spurs seemingly don’t have any particular leverage over the Lakers. However, that hasn’t changed their asking price.
According to NBA salary cap guru Larry Coon, the Spurs are still asking a king’s ransom for Leonard. Coon says San Antonio’s asking price of LA is Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, Josh Hart, two first round picks, and two draft pick swaps.
Starting at 1:51 in the video below, via Twitter:
— Spectrum SportsNet (@SpectrumSN) July 3, 2018
That would be a massive haul for San Antonio, which makes sense given have valuable Leonard is. Still, the former Finals MVP did cut some of the Spurs leverage when information about him wanting to leave Texas leaked earlier this year.
It’s also seems like a long play type of decision for an organization that isn’t looking to get bullied by a disgruntled star. While the Lakers may have shown their intention to sign Leonard in the summer of 2019 by inking several 1-year deals, The Spurs still aren’t backing down at this point. Keeping the asking price high and only help boost whatever they reap when the time eventually does come to trade Leonard.
We are still playing the waiting game, but it will be interesting to see where Leonard ends up as we move deeper into the NBA offseason. The most likely negotiations still remain between the Lakers and the Spurs, especially if it is true that Leonard is reticent to re-sign wherever he’s sent to outside of LA.