Don’t sleep on the Philadelphia 76ers when it comes to the Kawhi Leonard sweepstakes.
The San Antonio Spurs reportedly are “fully engaged” in trade talks involving Leonard, with the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers among the teams linked to the All-Star forward. But Sports Illustrated reported Thursday, citing sources, that the Sixers front office has presented team ownership with several Leonard trade scenarios for discussion.
The Sixers reportedly have recognized the urgency of the Spurs and Lakers to complete a trade. And while Philadelphia hasn’t made any formal offers to San Antonio, SI reports the Sixers have held serious internal discussions about acquiring Leonard over the last 48 hours.
Philadelphia’s internal discussions reportedly have focused on potential trade packages offering various young players and future draft selections, and one team source told SI that preliminary discussions with the Spurs revealed San Antonio has strong interest in a package centered around Dario Saric, Robert Covington and a future first-round pick.
According to SI, the Sixers are internally weighing a potential offer including Saric, Covington and the 2021 Miami Heat unprotected first-round pick they obtained in their draft-night deal with the Phoenix Suns.
That said, sources told SI that Philadelphia expressed how highly it values Saric and Covington in trade negotiations leading up to and during the draft. So it’s entirely possible any talks involving those two forwards won’t go anywhere when push comes to shove.
Nevertheless, sources told SI the Spurs have informed teams their preferred target in any Leonard trade is Jayson Tatum of the Celtics. This could just be a negotiating tactic, though, especially since it seems very unlikely Boston would trade Tatum in any deal.
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