"There is no evidence that the Spurs wanted [Markelle] Fultz," Lowe said. "I've been told the Spurs never asked for Fultz, and actively didn't want Fultz, and in fact wanted one of the two big guys."
Clearly, the 76ers were unwilling to budge on trading Embiid or Simmons, even if it meant they could get Kawhi.
As a two-time DPOY, Finals MVP, and 2x All-Star, Kawhi Leonard would absolutely change the dynamic for Philly. After years of tanking, they would have easily become one of the best teams in the East.
Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons are certainly great pieces to have and could lead to some great years of basketball for the club. And to give one of them away for a one-year rental is a huge risk. But if they never reach Kawhi's level, the franchise might forever regret not taking Kawhi when they had the chance.