The Los Angeles Lakers looked to be in the prime position to pick up Kawhi Leonard from the San Antonio Spurs this summer, however, the Philadelphia 76ers may now be getting in on the action.
The 76ers haven’t made any formal offers with the Spurs just yet, but have shown interest in Leonard through serious internal discussions over the last two days about the 2-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year.
According to Sports Illustrated's Jake Fischer, the 76ers are potentially willing to offer the Spurs both Dario Saric and Robert Covington along with a 2021 first-round draft pick in a trade package that may land Kawhi in Philadelphia.
“The Spurs are ramping up Kawhi Leonard trade talks and two Eastern Conference teams appear to be jockeying for position. The Philadelphia 76ers have recognized the Spurs' and L.A. Lakers' urgency to complete a deal, sources say. And while the Sixers have not made a formal offer to San Antonio at this time, Philadelphia has held serious internal discussions about acquiring Leonard over the last 48 hours. The front office has presented team ownership with several trade scenarios for discussion, sources say.”
“... Philadelphia's internal discussions have focused on potential trade packages offering various young players and future draft selections. One team source says preliminary discussions with San Antonio revealed the Spurs have strong interest in a package involving burgeoning forwards Dario Saric and Robert Covington as well as a future first-round pick. A potential, more serious offer that Philadelphia is weighing internally includes Saric and Covington and the 2021 Miami Heat unprotected first-round pick the Sixers obtained in their draft-night deal with the Phoenix Suns.”
Both Saric and Covington are very important key players for the 76ers in building a strong and positive locker room culture.
The 76ers are in the mix for Leonard alongside Eastern Conference rivals, the Boston Celtics, who have plenty of potential trade assets that San Antonio would be interested in. Securing Kawhi Leonard would be very important for the 76ers who look to be ready to challenge for the Eastern Conference crown next season and beyond, with 2018’s Rookie of the Year, Ben Simmons, leading the way.
For now, it’s only discussion, but if Philadelphia is seriously interested in Leonard, they will need to propose an offer to San Antonio that may be worth more than any deal the Lakers or Celtics can offer.