Published: Tue, July 17, 2018
Sports | By Johanna Francis

Another Major Step Has Been Taken In The Kawhi Leonard Saga

Another Major Step Has Been Taken In The Kawhi Leonard Saga

San Antonio's next move is still very much to be determined, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne.

But the second - his upcoming free agency - remains the biggest road block in any potential Leonard deal.

In the latest episode of " The Lowe Podcast", ESPN NBA insider Brian Windhorst said the Raptors are in the "driver's seat" to pull off a deal for Leonard.

Kawhi Leonard might be heading north for the season.

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The Toronto Raptors have reportedly emerged as the favorites to land San Antonio Spurs All-Star forward Kawhi Leonard, since the Lakers and Sixers have allegedly lost interest in a potential trade. Leonard is one of 35 players named to the US national team roster. Leonard would not be super max eligible as a free agent with the new team acquiring him even if he earned All-NBA honors in 2018-19. His current contract is scheduled to expire after next season if he chooses - as expected - not to sign an extension.

Wojnarowski reported Leonard still insists on being traded to the Los Angeles Lakers and could use the camp to showcase he is fully healthy from a quadriceps injury that forced him to miss 73 regular season games and the playoffs.

In the report, the Raptors are listed along with the Los Angeles Clippers, Denver Nuggets, Phoenix Suns, Portland Trailblazers and Washington Wizards as teams who have been in talks with the Spurs thus far. Leonard also indicated in June that the Lakers were one of his preferred destinations.

What's more, the Spurs aren't willing to take a discount for Leonard - at least not yet. That means no Kyrie Irving, no Gordon Hayward, no Al Horford, and certainly no Jaylen Brown or Jayson Tatum. The team continues to be asking for an all-star-level player, an elite-level prospect, as well as multiple draft picks in return for Leonard.

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