Posted on July 16, 2018, by Travis Pulver
The drama surrounding Kawhi Leonard and his quad injury lasts season was largely shrouded in mystery. Leonard never spoke with anyone and Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich is infamous for his ability to stonewall the press. Now, As the media embraces each and every rumor about San Antonio’s efforts to trade their disgruntled star, the mystery isn’t so much about the injury.
Now it’s about whether the Spurs are actually going to trade Leonard to the Lakers, Clippers, or anyone else.
Leonard made things harder on the Spurs by saying that he wanted to be in Los Angeles and nowhere else. First, it was the Lakers, but when LeBron James signed with the Lakers the Clippers became the story (because he just wants to be in Los Angeles). Why the Clippers? It seems that Leonard doesn’t want to be surrounded by all the media attention that follows LeBron. But then we hear that he’s called James and spoken with him about how excited he is to play together.
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Confusing? Well, when nothing ever comes from the horse’s mouth (the horse being Leonard), it’s difficult to know for certain what’s what. So, the media decided to cover its bases and report on every rumor.
Annoying? Yes, but can you blame them (not really).
Supposedly the Spurs are trying or have tried to work something out with the Boston Celtics any possibly the Philadelphia 76ers. But the rumor mill now seems to have passed them by and stopped on the Toronto Raptors. Somehow the Raptors have become the co-favorite (along with the Spurs) for Leonard (+200).
What the –? How the? Where did they come from?
Toronto has been stuck in recent years as the ‘good but not great’ team. They should some willingness to shake things up by firing the eventual Coach of the Year in Dwane Casey. But do they or should they shake it up on the personnel side? Adding someone of Leonard’s potential and subtracting either DeMar DeRozan or Kyle Lowry would do that.
But if you read any of the stories about the Raptors and Leonard, the rumor kind of seems media generated. Everyone was tired of talking about the other teams, so they created another contender for Leonard’s services.
Now it seems that the Knicks are now in play. Then again, if you give any weight to Cris Carter’s comments, none of the rumors are true. The only truth is in Leonard’s initial request:
“…Nothing’s changed from Kawhi’s side,” Carter said. “He still wants to go to Los Angeles, and he’s still not interested in being rented out for one season — that being Philadelphia, Boston, Toronto or any other team.”
What makes that interesting is that, for some reason, a football guy is breaking NBA news. How would he know? Actually—he might have an inside track to knowledge on Leonard. As it turns out, Leonard’s agent was Carter’s agent back in his playing days.
Could he have remained friends with his former agent? Could the agent have spilled the beans to Carter? Possibly, but we’ll never know. What we do know, however, is that Leonard doesn’t have the ability to veto a trade.
So, if the Spurs want to trade him to the Brooklyn Nets, they can—and he can’t do a darn thing about it. If you listen to Carter, that isn’t going to happen because Popovich has supposedly told Leonard he’s going to try to make him happy.
So– where’s Leonard going to play next year? It’s a mystery.