Kawhi Leonard trade rumors: Lakers, Clippers concerned over health status of disgruntled Spurs star
Kawhi Leonard wants to go to Los Angeles, but teams in L.A. are reportedly worried about his health
Kawhi Leonard reportedly . The Spurs star has requested a trade and Los Angeles is his reported preferred destination. He wants the Lakers, but the Clippers are expected to be involved in the rumors as well. As a former MVP candidate and Defensive Player of The Year winner, there should be a high asking price for Leonard.
However, the Clippers and Lakers are a little hesitant go all in on Leonard. Despite his credentials, Leonard missed all but nine games of the 2017-18 season due to a nagging quad injury. When he did play, he had to frequently rest and didn't look like his usual self. The Lakers and Clippers want Leonard, but they're concerned with his health after he spent the majority of the season rehabbing. Via Los Angeles Times:
Neither the Lakers nor Clippers have had trade discussions with the Spurs, as both teams have concerns about the severity of Leonard's injury. He spent several months away from the team while rehabbing, which led to public barbs from Spurs coach Gregg Popovich about Leonard's absence — an unusual move for the Spurs.
While the Lakers are open to trading any player on their roster, how much they are willing to give up depends on their confidence in his health.
Usually, after trade requests, there's a flurry of rumors about where a player might go and what teams are interested in that player. However, it's still a little too early in the process to expect anything substantial to appear. Especially for a player that the Spurs are probably hesitant on moving. Leonard, when healthy, is still one of the best in the league and San Antonio can still offer him a super max contract extension worth $219 million. There's no need for San Antonio to rush into trade talks with the Clippers and Lakers. Just like how there's no need for the two L.A. teams to rush into trade discussions before doing due diligence on their injury concerns.
It will be interesting to see how much Leonard's injury filled season impacts trade discussions around him. If they decide to trade Leonard then the Spurs will want the return an MVP candidate should get, but that quad injury is going to bring down his value. If the Lakers and Clippers really do have concerns about it, then are they willing to give up all their best assets for him? It's a question everybody will be asking themselves.
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