It has been over a full year since Kawhi Leonard went down in the second-half of Game 1 of the 2017 Western Conference Finals against the Golden State Warriors. With yet another NBA season under our belts, the story has been completely flipped from what we may have imagined. Just one summer after San Antonio saved one of its superstars from wanting a trade in LaMarcus Aldridge, a year later its biggest star, Kawhi Leonard, now wants out of the organization. ESPN's Chris Haynes was the first to report the news.
Kawhi Leonard wants out of San Antonio, league sources tell ESPN.— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) June 15, 2018
It all started this season after Kawhi returned from his injury during the midway point of the 2018 season. Playing only nine games, Leonard went down again which would end up being his final game played in the season because of a thigh injury.
Weeks after that, Leonard looked for a second opinion to see what he injured in his leg, a move in which the Spurs did not like. Leonard and his agent had said they had informed San Antonio of the decision and everything seemed to be okay. It was through the media that Leonard and his representatives found out San Antonio didn't like the move via "unnamed sources."
Shortly after, the team held a meeting to see how Leonard was feeling, in which he expressed to them he still wasn't healthy enough to play. Two weeks later, the two leaders of the team, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker, came out in the media and scrutinized Leonard through a series of not so subliminal messages, including Parker referencing a ruptured quad he suffered during his career saying "Mine was a 100 times worse but I am still playing."
Then after the season, reports from San Antonio stated that the organization "needed to be convinced" before they offered the $219-million super-max contract. Leonard, after hearing the news, cancelled the meeting he had scheduled with San Antonio and then requested a trade.
Celtics get: Kawhi Leonard
Spurs get: Terry Rozier, Marcus Morris, Jaylen Brown, Aron Baynes Sacramento Kings 2019 first-round pick (No. 2 protected)
Los Angeles Clippers:
Clippers get: Kawhi Leonard
Spurs get: Tobias Harris and 2018 No. 12 & 13 first-round picks
76ers get: Kawhi Leonard
Spurs get: Dario Saric, Robert Covington, and 2018 No. 10 overall pick,
Los Angeles Lakers:
Lakers get: Kawhi Leonard
Spurs get: Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, Channing Frye and 2018 No. 25 pick, 2019 first-round pick (lottery protected)
It has been reported by ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski that Leonard has the Lakers his primary option, but also reports say that R.C. Buford and Gregg Popovich will be hesitant to deal with the Lakers.
San Antonio’s Kawhi Leonard has Los Angeles — preferably the Lakers — at the center of his preferences for a trade destination, league sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 15, 2018
Leonard could be on the move soon as there are just a few days remaining until the NBA Draft and a few weeks away from the start of the free agency period.