By Lamar Battle
The answer for all of those San Antonio Spurs fans worldwide the answer is….Yes, it is quite possible ! Now the notion seems far fetched given the fact that Kahwi Leonard is a top three player in the NBA.
However over the course of the season the relationship between the Spurs and Kahwi may have deteriorated beyond the point of no return. The Spurs drafted Kahwi developed him and won with him as possibly the top two way (offensive and defensive) player in the game today.
A quad injury kept Kahwi out for the majority of the 2017-18 NBA season. Kahwi took longer to return from his injury than his own teammates thought was needed which culminated in a team meeting centered on Kahwi and his willingness to return to the team.
The press asked Coach Greg Popovich about Kahwi’s status and the coach’s response was to ask Kahwi’s group. The response suggested a possible chasm between the coach and his star player who left the team during the playoffs and went to New York supposedly for rehab.
ESPN reporter Ramona Shelborne talked about how there appears to be a misconception regarding the severity of Kahwi’s injury between him and the Spurs. Kahwi is eligible for the NBA’s super Max contract paying him 219 million over five years. The question is, will the Spurs pay the max to a player who may be injury prone?
Fox Sports One T.V. host Chris Carter mentioned that his brother works with the group currently advising Kahwi and alluded to the possibility that Kahwi will not return to the Spurs unless LeBron James signs there as a free agent. Some are speculating that Kahwi may be jockeying to force a trade.
If That’s The Case:
I believe the Los Angeles Lakers would be the best landing spot for Kahwi. Why? Most teams like the Celtics and Sixers may just wait until Kahwi becomes a free agent and get him for nothing.( Kahwi has one more season left on his current deal). That way they can hang on to their young assets.
Lakers President Magic Johnson has been known to say that he is not interested in any rebuilding efforts and would like to return to contention as soon as possible and Magic has a lot of chips.
The Lakers could trade Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball and Loul Deng (for salary considerations) to the Spurs for Kahwi. learning of this development LeBron may well jump on a plane in full uniform ( in the middle of the playoffs) and report to Los Angeles. (Wife and Kids to come later).
The Lakers would become contenders over-night and the Spurs would have the young players to get them back on track. Lonzo Ball could change the teams culture on the court and Brandon Ingram would be just the prize that the Spurs always manage to find and convert into a star.
There’s no sense in delaying the one deal that would make everyone involved happy with the exception being the Golden State Warriors.