Lakers reportedly working on separate trade to help acquire Kawhi Leonard

Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard
Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

We are now at the point in the process where it looks like disgruntled San Antonio Spurs star Kawhi Leonard will be traded at some point soon.

News is moving at a steady clip in this regard heading into the start of free agency Saturday morning. It’s already been reported on Thursday that San Antonio has decided to move on from Leonard completely. We’ve also noted that the Spurs are in talks with several teams about Leonard.

Meanwhile, the Philadelphia 76ers are working on putting together this specific package for the star.

All the while, it’s becoming readily apparent that the Lakers are doing everything possible to land Leonard in a trade. They’ve opened up discussions with San Antonio after initial talks were completely shut down.

Now, according to this report from Tim Bontemps of The Washington Post, Los Angeles is working on a separate deal with the Denver Nuggets to help facilitate a Leonard trade.

“In an attempt to sweeten the pot, multiple sources said the Lakers and Denver Nuggets are discussing a potential deal that would see Los Angeles take back bad money for a draft pick,” Bontemps reported.

Set to re-sign Nikola Jokic to a max-contract once free agency starts, Denver is already well over the luxury tax threshold. Conventional wisdom would seem to indicate that the team is looking to move either Kenneth Faried or Wilson Chandler in a salary dump, adding a draft pick to the mix as a sweetener.

Already boasting enough money to add two max-contract players, Los Angeles is now attempting to acquire additional draft assets to move to San Antonio for Leonard. This is a clear indication that Magic Johnson and Co. are comfortable with the possibility of landing Leonard.

On a related note, Leonard has already reportedly contacted LeBron James about the possibility of teaming up in Southern California. By making this move with Denver, the Lakers could facilitate a deal that would bring Leonard in from San Antonio.