Report: West teams have ‘no shot’ at Kawhi, Spurs to keep or trade to East

By Josh Liddick, Sports Talk Philly editor 

The Kawhi Leonard situation is getting very interesting, as USA Today's NBA Insider Sam Amick reported earlier on Saturday.

The San Antonio Spurs are being difficult to certain teams about trading the 26-year-old small forward, even though he has gone on the record of saying he wants to become a Los Angeles Laker.

The Spurs have let teams in the Western Conference know that they literally have almost zero chance to trade for Leonard.

"Fellow West teams have been told, in essence, to get lost – none moreso than the Lakers, according to ESPN. As it stands, the Spurs are determined to either fix the situation or trade Leonard to an Eastern Conference team. For teams other than the Lakers, the threat of losing Leonard in free agency next summer makes the prospect of offering meaningful assets a complicated, calculated risk."

Going along with Amick's report, the Cavaliers, Celtics, and Sixers seem to be the most likely landing spots for the former NBA Finals MVP. However, Boston and Philadelphia still seem to be the frontrunners for a trade.

"The Cavs have reportedly pursued a deal for Kemba Walker to bolster their pitch to James, but might they be able to swing a deal for Leonard instead? They might have a better shot than anyone in the West, but they’d be hard-pressed to compete with the kind of packages that teams like Boston and Philadelphia could put forth. According to a person with knowledge of the situation, the Cavs have inquired about Leonard but there is no traction on a possible deal. The Spurs have told teams to put forth offers without any indication of what might come next."

Obviously, in a perfect world, the Spurs would prefer Kawhi to remain a member of their team, but in the case that they can't come to a resolution those are their options right now. The Western Conference as a destination for Leonard, as of right now, is completely out of the question.

The Sixers have a ton of assets now that they consider in a trade for Kawhi Leonard, specifically first-round pick Zhaire Smith, the 2021 first round pick from the Heat, and of course, the Robert Covington/Dario Saric/Markelle Fultz factor.

They will definitely need to be mindful of the haul for Leonard, especially with the small forward almost definitely opting to sign with the Lakers in free agency in 2019.

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