Last week, when the news broke that Kawhi Leonard wanted out of San Antonio – and preferred to be traded to the Lakers – many in the media said there was no way that the Spurs would trade his star to a west coast rival.
Today, however, New York Times NBA writer Marc Stein reported that Popovich would be willing to deal Leonard to L.A. if they had the best trade package. Stein’s scoop only confirmed what Colin has said since the trade demand went public. He’s maintained that Leonard and his team have played their hand perfectly by demanding a trade to one specific team. With only one year remaining on his contract, Leonard has eliminated the possibility of a deal with any other teams who wouldn’t have any shot to sign him to a long term deal.
While some in the past – see Dwight Howard and Paul George – have bungled their attempted exits from the team that drafted them, Leonard’s plot is the blueprint of how to handle the situation. He deserves credit for using his leverage in the brief moment when he has the hammer.
Watch Colin explain why the Spurs have to pick up the phone and talk to Magic:
— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) June 19, 2018