Summary of “The Kawhi-DeRozan Trade Is a Win for Both the Spurs and Raptors”

Ever since Zaza Pachulia stepped underneath Kawhi Leonard in the 2017 Western Conference finals, Spurs fans have been living a nightmare.
With a lack of clarity regarding Leonard’s true value, the Celtics and Sixers weren’t willing to go all in, the Lakers weren’t biting, and any other team with reported interest-Clippers, Suns, Blazers, Nuggets-didn’t offer enough to outbid the Raptors.
Multiple league executives say the Spurs were prioritizing scoring in all prospective trade packages for Leonard, not picks or unproven players.
The Spurs won 47 games last season almost in spite of the Leonard situation.
Leonard might not be happy, but if he returns the same player or better than what he was in 2016-17, the Raptors will immediately improve on both ends.
If Leonard isn’t healthy or makes it clear he’s leaving next summer, or if the team underperforms, Ujiri can let the situation play out then jump-start the rebuild in 2019, or blow it up before the trade deadline by dealing Leonard again.
Of all teams for Leonard to be traded to, both Los Angeles franchises have to be feeling good today that Leonard was dealt to the coldest city in the league, and to a worse team on paper than the Celtics or Sixers.
Ujiri made the right move in trading two years of middling with DeRozan for one year of potential greatness with Leonard.

The orginal article.

Summary of “What should the Lakers do now with LeBron James?”

Now that the Los Angeles Lakers have landed LeBron James, how aggressively should they pursue a Kawhi Leonard trade? Our NBA Insiders discuss their options now and where else the Spurs could turn for a possible Leonard deal.
Should the Lakers take that approach with Leonard? Remember, they could sign him outright next year.
The Lakers are really giving up the players and picks they trade plus the potential of an alternative free agent to trade for Leonard now, and that deal wouldn’t be worth it for me unless the Spurs’ price came way, way down.
Once Stephenson and McGee are signed, the Lakers go over the cap and will need to get close to $16 million in outgoing contracts in a Leonard trade.
The presence of James should be a good enough sales pitch to lure Leonard, Butler or possibly James’ old teammate Kyrie.
Marks: If the Lakers take the patient approach, where should the Spurs turn their attention in finding a new home for Leonard?
Even for an All-NBA-level player in Leonard, it would be hard for me to trade Robert Covington and Dario Saric, given Kawhi’s injury concerns and expiring contract.
With LeBron out West, I would take a chance on Leonard if he looks healthy.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The King Has Landed: Making Sense of LeBron James in Purple and Gold”

Around the start of the 2017 NBA playoffs, executives and agents across the NBA began to increasingly discuss the possibility of LeBron James taking his talents to the Lakers after hitting free agency in 2018.
LeBron James agreed to a four-year, $154 million contract with the Lakers, Klutch Sports announced in a press release on Sunday night.
With LeBron officially agreeing to sign with the Lakers, it’ll be fascinating to monitor what type of leverage the Spurs can create for Kawhi Leonard, who still desires to play for the Lakers, according to multiple league sources-all of whom say offers to the Spurs have been underwhelming.
If the Lakers play hardball, it’ll be difficult for the Spurs to create any leverage if Leonard is indeed hell-bent on joining the Lakers by any means necessary.
If the Lakers take a power-play route, they can give LeBron something he has never had in his career: a contender that’s built to last.
If James brings the Lakers back and starts a new era of glory days in Los Angeles, it’s another notch in his column for the GOAT argument.
If LeBron wins a title or titles in Los Angeles, it’d mean that his team toppled the so-called inevitable Warriors dynasty in the most loaded conference in league history and then took down a formidable opponent in the East: Likely either the young, hungry Sixers or a Celtics team helmed by his former teammate in Kyrie Irving.
The Lakers ultimately provide LeBron with a world of upside: the chance to win another title with his third team in a new conference in a new era while guiding the most popular basketball franchise in the world back to the top of the league.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How the Sixers Can Have Their Cake and Eat It, Too”

San Antonio is currently unwilling to trade Leonard within the Western Conference, per multiple reports, and, as I reported before, the Sixers are expected to chase a Leonard trade.
Leonard rehabbed in New York away from the Spurs during the season, and he did so under the guidance of Dr. Jonathan Glashow, the chief medical officer of the Sixers.
If Leonard’s health gets a green light, then the remaining hurdle would be whether the Sixers can keep him beyond the 2017-18 season.
Leonard has a relationship with Brown from their two seasons together in San Antonio when Brown was a Spurs assistant coach; his decision to seek a second opinion shows health is a priority, so it’d conceivably help matters that his chosen physician is associated with the Sixers.
Order of Operations: Trading for Kawhi First If the Sixers receive word that James intends to sign with the team, it’d be easier for them to trade for Leonard and then sign LeBron, since they could kill two birds with one stone by freeing cap space in the Leonard trade.
Order of Operations: Acquiring LeBron First If the Spurs wait until later in the summer to trade Leonard, the Sixers could acquire him after signing James first.
The King reportedly feels “Elaborate presentations” are unnecessary, as his agents Rich Paul and Mark Termini will “Handle the process.” Meetings with James may not be fancy, so the Sixers should emphasize how he’d fit well with Philadelphia’s rising stars.
Then imagine the Sixers also acquiring a two-time Defensive Player of the Year in Leonard.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Zach Lowe on Kawhi Leonard, Jaylen Brown and Celtics-Spurs trades”

Still: Unless Leonard signals a willingness to consider staying with rebuilding teams beyond L.A., they won’t trade their best stuff for Leonard.
July brings the possibility of signing-and-trading Marcus Smart, and acquiring Leonard without losing either Jayson Tatum or Jaylen Brown.
Flipping Brown for Leonard tilts Boston more toward the present, and chips away at what looks like a bright future stretching well beyond 2025.
Swapping Brown for Leonard would leave Boston with four players earning fat max contracts, including three – Horford, Irving and Leonard – who can negotiate fatter ones in 2019.
More than two-thirds of Leonard’s 3-point attempts in his second season came from the corners; he hit 43 percent of those, but just 13-of-53 non-corner 3s. Brown has hit almost exactly 43 from the corners for his career, but he’s much more accomplished on above-the-break 3s than young Kawhi; Brown hit a very solid 69-of-184 on those longer 3s last season.
Brown shot 37 percent on 2-pointers outside the restricted area; Leonard was about 45 percent in his second season, and drained a Nowitzkian 51 percent of his long 2s in Year 3.
Kevin Pelton’s SCHOENE scores peg Leonard and Brown as only mildly similar through two seasons.
Most executives around the league consider it a no-brainer for Boston to toss Brown into any Leonard trade, provided the Celtics get the requisite assurances about Leonard’s health and willingness to re-sign.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Two Decades Later, the Spurs May Have to Rebuild”

Leonard feels the Spurs turned on him once he got a second opinion for the tendinopathy in his right quadriceps that sidelined him for 73 games, according to multiple reports.
Though Leonard hasn’t officially requested a trade, and the Spurs still have a five-year, $219 million supermax extension they can offer to Leonard, reports suggest we’re heading toward a breakup.
The New York Times’ Marc Stein said the Spurs still haven’t “Yet” made Leonard available.
The fact Leonard’s camp leaked that he wants out is an indication that his camp is trying to escalate the situation in order to force the Spurs to trade him.
The Spurs aren’t budging as of now, but Leonard’s camp is pushing back hard.
The Spurs can attempt to run it back with the pieces they acquire in exchange for Leonard, but with so much salary committed to aging stars, there are few avenues for them to become a contender until the 2020s.
The Spurs should at least consider blowing it up after dealing Leonard by flipping Aldridge, Gasol, and Patty Mills, and then turning their focus to the draft and player development.
Leonard’s relationship with the Spurs appears to be irreparable, and now San Antonio will need to build again.

The orginal article.

Summary of “What is next for Kawhi Leonard and San Antonio Spurs”

Throughout a regular season in which he played only nine games, a gulf grew and Leonard regularly commuted between San Antonio and New York to rehab his own way, with his own people.
Leonard returned to San Antonio shortly after the Spurs were eliminated from the playoffs in late April, leaving the New York-New Jersey area where he had spent much of the past few months with his uncle/adviser, Dennis Robertson.
If Leonard wants the Spurs to make that super-maximum contract offer – and indications are, yes, Leonard and his group want that offer – the history of how Popovich and Spurs president R.C. Buford do business suggests the offer won’t come without significant repairs to the relationship.
History suggests the Spurs could want to see Leonard return to the active lineup before making a super-max offer next year, see him reinvested fully into the program.
So if the Spurs resist offering Leonard the $219 million now – and then he threatens to walk in free agency or asks for a trade this summer – it will get complicated for San Antonio.
Will the Spurs wait out Leonard and gamble he wouldn’t turn down the $219 million next year? Do the Spurs have leverage in a possible Leonard trade now? Does the marketplace limit where San Antonio can trade Leonard, because teams that don’t believe they can re-sign him in 2019 would be reluctant to part with major assets in a deal?
All-Star forward Kawhi Leonard reportedly wants out of San Antonio.
Kawhi Leonard’s uncertain future will be front and center, but San Antonio will enter the summer with the potential for half its roster becoming free agents.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Who Is Entering the NBA Trade Zone?”

Kawhi Leonard Spurs coach Gregg Popovich wants Leonard kept away from the team, according to Peter Vecsey’s sources.
The latest rumor is that the reports of Leonard’s mangled rehabilitation and the team forcing an early comeback were a ploy by Kawhi’s camp so Leonard would have an out to join another franchise.
The franchise is a non-topic without Leonard.
C.J. McCollum After a strong end to the regular season, these playoffs were supposed to be different for the Blazers.
“The opportunity to potentially have [Russell] Westbrook, Paul George, and Steven Adams,” he said Wednesday, “All three of those guys in their prime years, is extremely exciting for us.”
Multiple reports have already surfaced that George is “Gone” and wants to be Playoff P somewhere else.
If George goes, Billy Donovan will have a similar issue on his hands as he did during Westbrook’s MVP season: Russ will be the only star on the team.
So the past season of disappointment with Wiggins might not be enough for the team to alter its course.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Inside the tension between Kawhi Leonard and the Spurs”

Before Leonard could expound on it, a Spurs communications staffer – who ostensibly could not hear what Leonard was saying but saw he was talking to a reporter – abruptly ended the conversation.
Over the past several months, ESPN has spoken to dozens of league sources, people close to Leonard and Spurs staffers.
Leonard briefly returned to the Spurs for nine games from mid-December through mid-January.
Spurs guard Tony Parker caused a stir when he said he had the same injury as Leonard, but “100 times worse” a few days after ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Parker and Ginobili had confronted Leonard about his status during a tense team meeting on March 17.
Popovich’s constant references to Leonard’s “Group” are a manifestation of the tension between the Spurs and Robertson and Frankel that has developed over the past year, according to Spurs sources.
Multiple league sources also told ESPN that the Spurs have grown worried that Leonard’s group has an ulterior motive to fray the relationship and get Leonard traded to a larger market such as Los Angeles or New York or Philadelphia.
She wrote to one fan, who questioned why Leonard was in New York City instead of with the Spurs during the playoffs, “What makes you think he’s not working to get back to his team? Make sure you speak Facts! Kawhi is still a Spur….”.
When asked about Kawhi Leonard returning to the Spurs, Gregg Popovich says you would have to ask Kawhi himself since he is rehabbing in New York.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Is This the End of the Spurs’ Dynasty?”

The Spurs are the standard in the NBA. In the past 20 years, they’ve never missed the playoffs, made six Finals appearances, won five championships, and never won less than 60 percent of their games in a single season.
The last time Leonard played, on January 13, the Spurs smoked the Nuggets by 32.
Leonard, for what it’s worth, was asked Wednesday whether he wants to finish his career with the Spurs.
Leonard’s quad issue caused him to miss 18 games during the 2012-13 season and forced the Spurs to address the issue over the offseason.
Let’s not forget that the Spurs were in control in Game 1 of last season’s Western Conference finals until Leonard got hurt.
Parker’s contract is up, and he said he wants to play 20 seasons for the Spurs, which means that the franchise will have to be willing to offer a three-year deal to a 35-year-old who is average at best on defense and is shooting 19.2 percent from 3.
The Spurs are always good, so they always draft in the back half of the first round, but they haven’t hit a bull’s-eye with a single one of their picks since they swapped George Hill for Leonard in 2011.
The free-agent market will be harsh for players this summer, so an opportunity could be there for the Spurs to poach a player and reshuffle their roster in a way that sets them up for greater success.

The orginal article.