It’s unknown whether the Los Angeles Lakers are feeling more pressure to land Kawhi Leonard now that DeMarcus Cousins has signed with the division rival Golden State Warriors. Common sense seems to indicate that this is the case, especially after Los Angeles signed LeBron James over the weekend.
But there’s absolutely no reason to believe Magic Johnson and Co. are going to mortgage their future for an opportunity to contend this coming season. If that’s the case, it certainly seems like Leonard is off the table.
In a recent appearance on Spectrum SportsNet in Southern California, veteran reporter Larry Coon indicated that San Antonio is demanding pretty much everything for Leonard. That includes three young stars and multiple NBA Draft picks.
This is not a drill.
“From what I hear they’re asking a lot. My sources are saying Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, Kyle Kuzma, two firsts and two pick swaps,” Coon reported. “They’re just saying give us everything.”
With the star coming off a 2017-18 campaign that saw him miss all but nine games to injury and set to hit free agency following next season, there’s no way Los Angeles would give up this type of package. Leonard’s value also decreased once he requested a trade through the media.
For the Lakers, the question is two-fold. Are they top end contenders to unseat Golden State with both James and Leonard in the mix? If not, doesn’t it make sense to target him in free agency next summer?
Short of San Antonio lowering its asking price for Leonard, this situation is likely going to drag on for a lot longer. That’s for sure.