When Kawhi Leonard reportedly wanted a trade from the Spurs, there was a delay in making San Antonio's unhappy star available. The Spurs didn't want to rush into a deal when they knew they could maybe fix their relationship first. After all, San Antonio has all the leverage, thanks to the supermax contract extension that only it can offer Leonard. This is also an organization that has managed to fix broken relationships in the past.
This time is different, however. Little progress has been made in mending that relationship and now the Spurs appear ready to deal their star. According to Marc Stein of the New York Times, the Spurs have decided it's time to move on from Leonard.
This doesn't guarantee Kawhi Leonard is going to the Lakers this week -- since San Antonio could always trade him elsewhere and/or drag things out -- but league sources say of the Spurs: "They're ready" to move on from Kawhi— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) June 28, 2018
This is a major change in the Spurs' attitude toward Leonard. Before the NBA Draft, multiple teams called San Antonio about Leonard's availability. However, the Spurs weren't actively engaging in trade talks and instead just listening to offers. Following the draft, there's been a change. The Lakers, Leonard's reported preferred destination, have been for Leonard. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the Celtics have also gotten themselves involved in offers for Leonard.
The Spurs are fully engaged in trade talks with several teams on Kawhi Leonard, including the Lakers and Celtics, league sources tell ESPN. Boston has long had the assets that the Spurs most covet in a potential Leonard trade.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 28, 2018
It's shocking to see this happen to the Spurs of all franchises, but that just shows how weird this entire situation is. Leonard only played nine games last season due to a quad injury, but he wasby the Spurs for the majority of the season. That injury has been the source of the divide between the two sides.
Now it's time to see what kind of return a disgruntled Leonard can get. When healthy, Leonard is an MVP candidate that can make a team a title contender. Both the Lakers and Celtics have young assets that the Spurs could rebuild around if they wanted to. The question is how much of those assets are they willing to give up for Leonard.