He is not going to Los Angeles…or any other destination in the Western Conference, sources are telling GetMoreSports.com.
Leonard has some leverage in that he can tell any non-L.A. team that he has no interest in signing an extension after his current deal expires in a year, and that may end up diminishing the value of offers Eastern Conference teams are willing to make.
But if you think that bothers Popovich, you don’t know Popovich. The guy would gladly take 75 cents on the dollar for Kawhi if he could ship him out of the West — even if that upsets Kawhi.
There are two choices here:
The Spurs are a well-run organization that will manage this crisis as effectively as possible.
The Spurs will outright refuse to trade Leonard to a Western Conference team.
It can’t be both.
If the Spurs trade Leonard, they should take the best offer they get – no matter who makes it. Teams like the Celtics and 76ers have better assets to dangle. But if the Lakers and Clippers are the only team with assurances Leonard will re-sign next summer, they could offer more, even assembling a package from a shallower pool of assets.
The Spurs shouldn’t worry where Leonard lands. But that doesn’t mean they won’t worry where Leonard lands.