LOS ANGELES (CBSLA/AP) – Laker fans, get ready for the Summer of Speculation.
Kawhi Leonard has told the San Antonio Spurs that he would like to be traded this summer, the clearest sign yet that the relationship between the team and the All-Star is in disrepair, a person familiar with the situation told the Associated Press.
The person says Leonard has decided that he is “unhappy with the situation” in San Antonio. The person spoke with The Associated Press Friday on condition of anonymity because neither the player nor the team commented publicly.
Leonard is approaching the final year of his contract, as he has an opt-out clause for the 2019-20 season.
Yahoo Sports first reported Leonard’s hope for a trade.
Leonard played in only nine games with the Spurs this past season because of a leg injury. In the 2016-17 season, he averaged a career-best 25.5 points and was third in the MVP voting.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Leonard would prefer to end up with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Further complicating an early start to the NBA offseason: LeBron James and Paul George, both of whom are free agents who have been rumored to be eying the Lakers as a possible destination.
But according to Wojnarowski, it’s unclear whether the Spurs would be interested in any of the Lakers’ assets. The Boston Celtics are also reportedly interested in discussing a deal for Leonard.
A two-time All-Star and two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year, Leonard was named the MVP of the 2014 NBA Finals. He finished second in NBA MVP voting in 2016 and third in 2017.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)