The Los Angeles Lakers reportedly are among the NBA teams “fully engaged” in trade talks for San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard, but are they willing to give up enough quality assets to finalize a deal for the 2014 NBA Finals MVP?
Here’s an update from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski:
“The Lakers are willing to include former No. 2 pick Brandon Ingram and a future first-round pick in a package for Leonard, but the Spurs are seeking a far more complete haul of young Lakers players and future picks, league sources said.”
It’s safe to assume Ingram and a draft pick isn’t going to be enough for the Spurs to pull the trigger on a Leonard trade. Not when the Lakers have other assets, such as Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma and Josh Hart, to potentially include in a trade package.
The Spurs should use other contending teams that reportedly have interest in Leonard and own quality trade assets, most notably the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers, to drive up the price for the Lakers.
If Ingram and a first-round draft pick is the best the Lakers can do, the Spurs should say no and bring Leonard into next season. Maybe the Lakers would get desperate and up their offer. It’s a gamble worth taking for the Spurs, who cannot afford to trade Leonard and not receive a bounty of talented young players and/or valuable draft picks in return.
Thumbnail photo via Gary A. Vasquez/USA TODAY Sports
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