The NBA offseason wheels have been turning since the Los Angeles Lakers and San Antonio Spurs reportedly re-engaged in trade talks for disgruntled superstar Kawhi Leonard on Wednesday. The Lakers presumably believe that securing Leonard will entice LeBron James and/or Paul George to come on board as well.
Leonard requested a trade from San Antonio earlier this month, but the Spurs were initially hesitant to deal their star forward, hoping that they could eventually mend their fractured relationship. It now looks like that's not going to happen. The Spurs are reportedly ready to deal Leonard, and now it's a matter of finding the most attractive package.
The Lakers are willing to include former No. 2 pick Brandon Ingram and a future first-round pick in a package for Leonard, but the Spurs are seeking a far more complete haul of young Lakers players and future picks, league sources said.
Meanwhile the Celtics are reportedly being stingy with their young players, as has been the case for years. From the Boston Herald:
It's not believed the Celts are willing to move either Jayson Tatum or Jaylen Brown, and whether they'd put the 2019 Sacramento first round pick (protected only if it's No. 1 overall) on the table likely is dependent on the sides getting serious enough to allow the C's permission to speak with Leonard, gauge his interest in Boston and check his medical information.
Part of the Celtics' issue is that they're not sure that Leonard would commit to them long-term, which means they could fork over valuable assets for what amounts to a one-year rental. The Lakers seem much more convinced that Leonard will stay in Los Angeles, so at this juncture they seem more willing to roll the dice.
As of now it appears the Lakers are leading the race for Kawhi, but in the NBA things can turn on a dime.