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Kawhi Leonard Reportedly Talking To Other Stars About 2019 Free Agency Plans

Jul 18, 2018 5:50 PM

While Kawhi Leonard has been silent with the media, Bruce Arthur of the Toronto Star said on the Back To Back Podcast on Wednesday that he has been in conversations with other impending 2019 free agents about possibly playing together.

"One thing I was told last night is that Kawhi Leonard had already been planning out his free agency for next year and he had already been in contact with other star players in the league and saying 'Hey, where might you want to play with me? What are we looking at?'

"It wasn't just L.A. he was talking about," added Arthur. "Brooklyn was maybe somewhere. They're going to have a ton of cap space. That might have been a possibility.

"So Kawhi has already been thinking ahead to pairing up and playing at a highest level."

The 2019 free agent class includes Leonard, Kyrie Irving, Jimmy Butler, Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant.

Bruce Arthur/Toronto Star

Tags: Kawhi Leonard, Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, New York Knicks, San Antonio Spurs, Toronto Raptors, Brooklyn Nets, NBA, NBA Signing Rumor, NBA Trade Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

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Gregg Popovich Insists Kawhi Leonard Remained 'Great Teammate All The Way Through'

Jul 18, 2018 4:44 PM

Gregg Popovich made it clear that he and Kawhi Leonard are parting on good terms following the trade with the Toronto Raptors.

"That's all ridiculous," Popovich said of reports that Leonard was a "bad teammate" late season.

"Kawhi was a great teammate all the way through," Popovich said. "He did his work, was no problem for anybody. But talking heads out there have to have stories, and I get it...But all those stories that denigrated him in that regard were unfortunate and inaccurate."

Popovich said he is confident that the blockbuster deal "will be a good situation for everybody involved."

"Kawhi obviously worked very hard to become the player he is and our staff worked very hard to help him get there and we wish him all the best as he moves on to Toronto. I think he will be great," Popovich said. "Danny Green will be missed. He's been here quite a while and was a big part of what we do on and off the court. He was a great community guy, and we are going to miss him very much."

Popovich said he and Leonard spoke often this summer "about a lot of different things, on and off the court" but that no agreement could be reached that would keep him in San Antonio.

"Attempts were made to see what would be best, and in the end this trade appeared and we felt this was the way to go," Popovich said.

Tom Orsborn/San Antonio Express-News

Tags: Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio Spurs, Toronto Raptors, NBA, NBA Trade Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

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Spurs Required Ben Simmons Or Joel Embiid To Trade Kawhi Leonard To 76ers

Jul 18, 2018 4:33 PM

The San Antonio Spurs made it clear in Kawhi Leonard trade talks with the Philadelphia 76ers that they would requre either Ben Simmons or Joel Embiid.

That asking price was understandably a non-starter for the 76ers.

Philadelphia's potential package of Robert Covington, Dario Saric and Miami's 2021 unprotected first round pick wasn't of interest to the Spurs.

It is unclear how much interest the Spurs had in Markelle Fultz as he was never seriously discussed and sources say the 76ers wouldn't have traded him.

Zach Lowe/ESPN

Tags: Kawhi Leonard, Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid, Markelle Fultz, Philadelphia Sixers, San Antonio Spurs, NBA, NBA Trade Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

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Celtics Were Unwilling To Trade For Kawhi Without Assurances On Health, Future Plans

Jul 18, 2018 4:28 PM

The Boston Celtics were unwilling to trade any of their core players, including Jaylen Brown, without assurances about Kawhi Leonard's health and future plans.

The Celtics feel comfortable with their short-term and long-term outlook without gambling on Leonard.

Boston has tremendous depth on the wing with Brown, Jayson Tatum and Gordon Hayward, but the upside of their roster is questionable without a true MVP candidate like Leonard.

Though not noted in Zach Lowe's piece, the Celtics have long been linked to Anthony Davis and they could be waiting for the possibility he becomes available. 

Zach Lowe/ESPN

Tags: Kawhi Leonard, Boston Celtics, San Antonio Spurs, Toronto Raptors, NBA, NBA Trade Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

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Spurs Weren't Interested In Kawhi Leonard Trade Offers Heavy On Picks, Unproven Players

Jul 18, 2018 4:24 PM

The San Antonio Spurs never showed interest in any trade packages for Kawhi Leonard that were heavy on picks and unproven players.

Gregg Popovich reportedly does not want to finish his NBA career in a rebuild.

San Antonio sought an All-Star in addition to other assets and managed to acquire one from the Toronto Raptors in DeMar DeRozan.

The Philadelphia 76ers' package of Robert Covington, Dario Saric and Miami's unprotected 2021 didn't move the needle for the Spurs.

Zach Lowe/ESPN

Tags: Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio Spurs, Toronto Raptors, NBA, NBA Trade Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

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Kawhi Leonard's Camp Made It Clear He Had No Interest In Joining Raptors

Jul 18, 2018 4:19 PM

Kawhi Leonard's camp made it clear to the Toronto Raptors and other teams over the past week that he had no interest in being traded there, according to sources.

The Raptors still moved forward with a trade for Leonard on Wednesday.

Masai Ujiri believes he can convince Leonard on the Raptors, but they could also trade him before the deadline if they get the sense he still intends to leave in free agency.

Leonard played in just nine games last season and the status of his quad is one of the biggest uncertainties in the NBA.

ESPN's Brian Windhorst, however, reports Leonard is expected to report to the Raptors.

“From what I understand in talking to people, Kawhi’s going to be a professional about it, he’ll accept the situation and try to make the best of it,” said Windhorst.

Zach Lowe/ESPN

Tags: Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio Spurs, Toronto Raptors, NBA, NBA Trade Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

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Spurs Begged Kawhi Leonard To Let Them Announce He'd Miss Remainder Of Season

Jul 18, 2018 10:23 AM

Gregg Popovich begged Kawhi Leonard on multiple occasions to let him announce that he would be out for the remainder of the season.

Leonard's uncertain status put Popovich in an uncomfortable position where he couldn't give the media an easy answer on his status. Even in the playoffs, Leonard's status remained uncertain.

Leonard left the Spurs on two occasions to rehab in New York.

Despite the issues, the Spurs believed the relationship with worth salvaging. Popovich met with Leonard in San Diego ahead of the draft in June.

Michael C. Wright/ESPN

Tags: Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio Spurs, Toronto Raptors, NBA, NBA Misc Rumor, NBA Injury

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Gregg Popovich Has Remained Engaged In Spurs' Everyday Business

Jul 18, 2018 10:12 AM

Gregg Popovich has remained engaged in the San Antonio Spurs' everyday business this offseason, according to sources. 

Popovich's wife, Erin Popovich, passed away in April. Popovich has largely been absent from the Spurs this offseason for this reason.

Popovich also begins coaching USA Basketball this summer.

The timeline for how long Popovich will remain as head coach of the Spurs remains unclear.

Michael C. Wright/ESPN

Tags: San Antonio Spurs, NBA, NBA Misc Rumor

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Raptors Told DeMar DeRozan At Summer League He Wouldn't Be Traded

Jul 18, 2018 9:19 AM

The Toronto Raptors met with DeMar DeRozan in Las Vegas during Summer League and told him he would not be traded.

DeRozan, however, was traded on Wednesday in Toronto's deal with the San Antonio Spurs for Kawhi Leonard.

In a story posted on his Instagram page on Wednesday morning, DeRozan wrote, "Be told one thing & the outcome another. Can't trust em. Ain't no loyalty in this game. Sell you out quick for a little bit of nothing... Soon you'll understand... Don't disturb..."

Neither DeRozan or Leonard are expressing enthusiasm for the trade.

Chris Haynes/ESPN

Tags: Kawhi Leonard, DeMar DeRozan, San Antonio Spurs, Toronto Raptors, NBA, NBA Trade Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

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Raptors Acquire Kawhi Leonard From Spurs For Package Centered On DeMar DeRozan

Jul 18, 2018 9:00 AM

The Toronto Raptors have agreed to acquire Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green from the San Antonio Spurs for DeMar Deorzan, Jakob Poeltl and a protected 2019 first round pick. The first round pick is protected 1-20 in 2019 and becomes two second round picks if it doesn't convert.

A trade call with the league office to finalize the trade is set for Wednesday, sources said.

The Raptors and Spurs have been discussing a trade for about two weeks.

Both DeRozan and Leonard are reportedly unhappy with the move. Sources tell Chris Haynes that Leonard has no interest in playing for the Raptors.

In a story posted on his Instagram page on Wednesday morning, DeRozan wrote, "Be told one thing & the outcome another. Can't trust em. Ain't no loyalty in this game. Sell you out quick for a little bit of nothing... Soon you'll understand... Don't disturb..."

Leonard has been clear he plans to sign with the Los Angeles Lakers in free agency in 2019. 

Adrian Wojnarowski explained Toronto's thinking on trading for Leonard.

"There's no question this deal comes with great risk for Toronto," said Wojnarowski. "In the end, they didn't feel like they were good enough with the team they had to beat Boston, maybe even beat Philly."

Wojnarowski added the Raptors hope to convince Leonard to sign long-term and will likely pivot to a rebuild if he leaves.

Adrian Wojnarowski, Chris Haynes/ESPN

Tags: Kawhi Leonard, DeMar DeRozan, San Antonio Spurs, Toronto Raptors, NBA, NBA Trade Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

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Raptors Have Made Most Compelling Offer To Spurs For Kawhi Leonard
There are several issues remaining for the Raptors to acquire Kawhi Leonard.

Brian Windhorst/ESPN

Blazers, Suns, Nuggets, Wizards Have Also Discussed Kawhi Leonard Trade With Spurs
Kawhi Leonard is seriously considering attending USA Basketball national team's minicamp in Las Vegas next week.

Adrian Wojnarowski, Ramona Shelburne/ESPN

Dennis Robertson Has Approached Multiple Players About Representing Them
Dennis Robertson is currently representing his nephew Kawhi Leonard.

Jeff McDonald/San Antonio Express-News

Raptors Could Be In 'Driver's Seat' To Trade For Kawhi Leonard
The Raptors could be the team in the best position to acquire Kawhi Leonard in a trade with the Spurs.

Brian Windhorst/ESPN

Kawhi Leonard Now Officially Eligible To Sign Supermax Extension
Kawhi Leonard could sign a five-year, $221 million extension with the Spurs

Bobby Mark/ESPN

Spurs Continue To Have High Threshold On Kawhi Leonard Trade
The Spurs aren't nearing a deal of Kawhi Leonard.

Adrian Wojnarowski/ESPN

Spurs Plan On Reaching Out To Kawhi Leonard Once Trade Is Close
Kawhi Leonard continues to prefer a trade to Los Angeles.

Ben Rohrbach/Yahoo! Sports

76ers Haven't Offered Markelle Fultz In Trade Talks With Spurs For Kawhi Leonard
It's also unclear if the Spurs have interest in Markelle Fultz.

Zach Lowe/ESPN

Davis Bertans Agrees Upon Two-Year, $14.5M Deal With Spurs
Davis Bertans played 77 games for the Spurs last season.

Shams Charania/Yahoo! Sports

Bryn Forbes Agrees To Re-Sign With Spurs On Two-Year Deal
Bryn Forbes played 80 games for San Antonio last season.

Shams Charania/Yahoo! Sports

76ers Interested In R.C. Buford For GM Job
While the 76ers are interested in R.C. Buford, league exec Kiki VanDeWeghe has reached out to them.

Keith Pompey/Philadelphia Daily News

Raptors 'Generate Buzz' As Possible Trade Spot For Kawhi Leonard
Masai Ujiri is known to have a strong relationship with RC Buford.

Tim Bontemps/Washington Post

Davis Bertans Agrees To Four-Year, $20M Deal With Spurs
Davis Bertans was a restricted free agent.

Sportando

Spurs Decline To Match Kyle Anderson's Offer Sheet With Grizzlies
Kyle Anderson was drafted 30th overall in 2014 by the Spurs out of UCLA.

Adrian Wojnarowski/ESPN

76ers Considered Only East Team Kawhi Leonard Would Re-Sign With
The Lakers and Clippers are Kawhi Leonard's preferred destinations.

Chris Haynes/ESPN

Kyle Anderson Agrees To Four-Year, $37.2M Offer Sheet With Grizzlies
The Grizzlies used their full midlevel exception on the offer as they were determined to improve the small forward position.

Adrian Wojnarowski/ESPN

Spurs Could Continue To Drag Out Kawhi Leonard Trade Talks
The Spurs continue to be in no rush to trade Kawhi Leonard as they wait for an offer they can't refuse or continue to hope to reconcile with Leonard.

Brian Windhorst/ESPN

Tony Parker Disputes Way Relationship With Kawhi Leonard Has Been Portrayed
Kawhi Leonard and Tony Parker both had quad injuries last offseason.

Marc J. Spears/The Undefeated

Tony Parker Agrees To Two-Year, $10M Deal With Hornets
Tony Parker has spent his entire career with the Spurs.

Adrian Wojnarowski/ESPN

Kawhi Leonard's Preference Between Lakers, Clippers Remains Disputed
The preferred destination of Kawhi Leonard remains one of the most hotly contested subjects amongst well-regarded members of the media.

Michael C. Wright/ESPN