Raptors Have Made ‘Compelling Offer’ For Kawhi Leonard

Jo Caldwell
July 18, 2018

San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard is "seriously considering" participating in USA Basketball's national team minicamp next week to show his health to potential trade partners, according to an ESPN report Tuesday.

"I think they're in the driver's seat for Kawhi because I think the Lakers have given up", said Brian Windhorst on The Lowe Post.

In fact, online sportsbook MyBookie now lists the Toronto Raptors as even money to land the All-Star forward, which is better odds than the Spurs at +400.

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Lowe responded that if he were running the Raptors, he would offer DeMar DeRozan, Pascal Siakam, and at least one first-round pick.

From the Raptors side of things, they would likely just be renting Leonard unless they can make an overwhelming impression on him. ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne reported Tuesday that the Portland Trail Blazers, Phoenix Suns and Denver Nuggets also had checked in on Leonard.

Despite the widespread interest, however, ESPN reports many teams have made "modified" offers because of questions surrounding Leonard's long-term plans (Is he just a one-year rental who will sign with the Lakers when he becomes an unrestricted free agent at the end of the upcoming season?) and his health (Will he return from his quad injury as a top-5 player?). We won 59 games past year without Kawhi Leonard, he's better than DeMar DeRozan'. All three teams had the combination of valuable assets to leverage in a trade, and a path to title contention that could entice Leonard to re-sign with them next summer.

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The report also indicates the Lakers are not prioritizing a trade for Leonard, opting instead to trust he will want to join them in free agency next summer.

Boston reportedly is unwilling to include five key players - Kyrie Irving, Jayson Tatum, Gordon Hayward, Jaylen Brown and Al Horford - while the Sixers won't offer any of Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons or 2017 first-overall pick Markelle Fultz.

For their part, general manager R.C. Buford and the San Antonio front office appear to be unaffected by a seemingly dwindling trade market.

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