The Lakers are motivated to make a deal for Leonard on several fronts, including the potential boost it would give them in luring LeBron James to Los Angeles.
As trade conversations surrounding Kawhi Leonard continue to heat up, Lakers forward Brandon Ingram could possibly end up in San Antonio. Both teams have a bevy of assets they could offer in exchange for Kawhi, should they decide to pursue him.
The Spurs are reportedly seeking a "massive package" of young talent and draft picks for Leonard.
However, according to a new report co-authored by ESPN insiders Ramona Shelburne, Adrian Wojnarowski and Brian Windhorst, Los Angeles executives have ramped up their pursuit of disgruntled Spurs superstar Kawhi Leonard knowing he would likely sway James' free agency intentions in their favour. San Antonio has plenty of time to sift through offers and make the best trade. Unprotected first-rounders are nearly unheard of as teams have become smarter about placing stipulations on picks, making the Miami selection a valuable asset.
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If Ingram or Kuzma headline a trade, either one can replace the production Leonard left behind.
This could indicate that the Celtics are willing to part with Jaylen Brown and/or their cache of 2019 first-round picks in order to land Leonard. One team source says preliminary discussions with San Antonio revealed the Spurs have strong interest in a package involving burgeoning forwards Dario Saric and Robert Covington as well as a future first-round pick. But based on previous behavior, the Celtics are unlikely to overpay for Leonard.
The Lakers want to trade for Leonard in the near future in the hopes that he could attract LeBron James to L.A.
The Spurs are in no rush to make a deal, and don't necessarily have to, preferring to try to fix their relationship with Leonard and potentially reward him with a super-max contract.