It's the NBA's worst-kept secret: the San Antonio Spurs and Los Angeles Lakers have recently discussed a trade involving Kawhi Leonard and some of the Lakers' young assets. Given the Spurs' reported astronomical asking price, such a deal may never come to fruition. And, as strange as this may sound, that might actually be fine with Kawhi.
Previous reports had stated Kawhi was interested in joining the Lakers, but those reports came out before LeBron James announced he was joining the Lakers. A number of fans and analysts have speculated that Kawhi's desires may have changed following LBJ's decision—certainly, the dynamics in L.A. are a lot different now than they were a month ago.
Yahoo's Shams Charania, NBA journalism's wunderkind, offered a simple explanation of this theory during an appearance on The Herd with Colin Cowherd Tuesday. The Kawhi talk begins around the 27:00 mark.
"One thing that's been made abundantly clear—I'm going to stress this—there's no guarantee if Kawhi Leonard hits the market next summer that he's going to sign with the Lakers, period," Charania said. "I think his options have broadened a little bit, just inside L.A. There's another team, obviously, in L.A. I think he'd be very much open to the Clippers."
Charania added that in his opinion, there is potential for Kawhi to end up with the Sixers, but he doesn't think Kawhi would be that interested in joining the East's other emerging power—the Celtics. So, why wouldn't the Spurs star be overly enthused about joining the purple and gold, given previous reports that his heart is set on the Lakers?
"Around Kawhi, what's been made abundantly clear is there's not an interest to go join a super team," Charania added. "I don’t think he's jumping for joy that LeBron James is in L.A. with the Lakers. If anything, that's going to make him look maybe more toward the Clippers. Because this is a guy that won Finals MVP against LeBron James. You think he's amped up and wants to join LeBron now? I think that's been overstated, and the Spurs are beginning to realize that and beginning to realize that we might have a broadened market for him."
We should emphasize that this is just Charania's opinion, not a report, but it's an interesting one nonetheless—something to keep an eye on.
The Kawhi saga continues.