CLEVELAND is more likely to land Kawhi Leonard than the Los Angeles Lakers, with San Antonio reportedly determined to keep the star forward from ending up in a Western Conference team.
But other Eastern Conference teams have more options for trading than the Cavaliers, among them the Philadelphia 76ers, according to a report.
“They (Cavs) might have a better shot than anyone in the West, but they’d be hard-pressed to compete with the kind of packages that teams like Boston and Philadelphia could put forth,” wrote Sam Amick of USA Today.
The Spurs are still eager to work things out with the disgruntled Leonard, and the USA Today report, citing a source, said “there is no traction on a possible deal” with the Cavaliers, who have earlier inquired about the star forward.
Sixers coach Brett Brown said they are "star hunting" and a draft-day trade that sent their pick Mikal Bridges to the Phoenix Suns or Zhaire Smith and a 2021 first-round pick has boosted their pieces for a trade.
The Cavaliers, on the other hand, are in a quandary with LeBron James yet to make a decision on his impending free agency.
Leonard missed all but nine games in the past season due to a right quadriceps injury, and is reportedly still irked with how the Spurs handled it. The 26-year-old star was apparently pretty displeased when veteran guard Tony Parker of France described his own quad injury as “100 times worse” than Leonard’s.
Kawhi is eligible for a five-year $219 million extension on July 1.