In what is quickly becoming the most dramatic soap opera of the summer between the San Antonio Spurs, Kawhi Leonard, and the Los Angeles Lakers, another page has been turned over. According to sources at ESPN, talks have picked back up between the two teams as the Lakers look to clinch an all important deal. What makes this trade so interesting is the fact that there are so many parties that are affected by it. One chess piece can vastly change the outlook of the current NBA, but it looks as if the Spurs will not allow themselves to be taken advantage of to make it all happen.
According to the report, the Spurs will consider an offer that is too good to refuse. Though, they won’t talk much less than that. That means the Spurs, led by a front office and coach that have done things a specific way for quite some time, leading them to great success on the court, are very cognizant of what is really going on here. In order to let Leonard walk, the Spurs would have to have a great package of young players. It could really all come back to bite the Lakers, of course, if they were to give that up. Or anyone for that matter, with other teams like the Philadelphia 76ers reportedly involved in talks.
The reason, of course, why the Spurs aren’t just going to give up Leonard is more complicated than them simply driving a hard bargain. It’s about having a chance to win championships. If the Lakers bring in Leonard, they are very much in a position to sign coveted free agents that are out there, including LeBron James, the biggest fish on the market this summer. In the past, James has made moves after other big name stars, or at least during the same time. The Spurs know a tandem with James and Leonard, one of the few men that can seriously hinder James’ ability to score at will, would likely lead to a very small chance of winning the title when Golden State is also in the same conference.
Whatever becomes of all of this is still up in the air, but this summer has the real likelihood of changing the face of the NBA for the next decade. It’s assumed by many that the Warriors are going to go downhill some point soon, that the Celtics and 76ers are going to have their days in the sun, and that Houston might have passed up its best chance. All of those things might be derailed, or derailed even further, if LeBron and Kawhi team up in Los Angeles with each other. That’s why the Spurs won’t be taken for a fool in these negotiations, making it all the more dramatic as July inches closer.