Big NBA news broke this morning with Kawhi Leonard reportedly requesting a trade from the San Antonio Spurs. According to multiple NBA reporters, Leonard has grown to distrust the Spurs after how they handled his hamstring injury and the relationship appears “irreparable”.
Of course that set off a firestorm of speculation as to what the Spurs will do and who will win the Leonard sweepstakes. The Lakers, naturally, came up a lot and according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, is one of Leonard’s preferred destinations.
But who cares about the Lakers? Chris Mannix is the one bringing the heat today!
Another team to watch in the Kawhi sweepstakes: Sacramento. Kings have talked to teams about the No. 2 pick, per sources, and desperately want an established star.— Chris Mannix (@ChrisMannixYS) June 15, 2018
Look, I’m sure the Kings would love to have Kawhi Leonard and they’ll kick the tires on a trade. But I’d rather gamble on Michael Porter Jr.’s gimpy back than think that Leonard would re-sign in Sacramento after one year. The #2 pick is far too important for this franchise to bet on the minuscule chance that Leonard:
A) Makes the Kings good enough in one year that they make the playoffs
B) Likes Sacramento enough to re-sign rather than going to the Lakers, Clippers or somewhere else on his current preferred destination list.
So no, I don’t think we’ll be seeing Kawhi Leonard in a Kings uniform next year. It’s not worth the risk. Draft well instead and get a homegrown star that could be here for years. You know, unlike in 2011 when the Kings chose Jimmer Fredette over Kawhi Leonard.
UPDATE 12:02 p.m.
Well now Amick is saying the Kings are throwing their hat in the ring too.
Add the Kings to the list of teams expected to pursue Kawhi Leonard. No clarity on what they'd be willing to offer, but the notion of the No. 2 pick being on the table is a strong start.— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) June 15, 2018