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The Blockbuster Trade For Kawhi Leonard That Could Ruin The Lakers' Summer

Fadeaway World

Fadeaway World

It's no secret that both the Los Angeles Lakers and Kawhi Leonard have mutual interest in joining forces at some point before the start of next season, but the struggle to acquire Leonard from the San Antonio Spurs has been a long one.

Kawhi made it known over a month ago that he doesn't want to play for the San Antonio Spurs any longer, and that Los Angeles would be his preferred destination when traded. Since then, we've had multiple -- as well as conflicting -- reports over the status of Kawhi and the Spurs, from Leonard has repaired his relationship with Pop and the front office, to the Lakers have formulated a trade package to send the Spurs' way.

After signing LeBron James this summer, the Lakers would love to trade for Kawhi to add another All-Star next to LBJ, especially after missing out on Paul George. But an Eastern Conference team could have big plans to spoil the Lakers' aspirations.

According to experts, the Toronto Raptors are now not only in the race to have Leonard on their roster at the start of next season, but are the favorites.

With an All-Star backcourt that has failed again and again to perform in the playoffs, it may be time for the Raptors -- with a new head coach -- to mix things up with LeBron James out of the Eastern Conference picture.

The Raptors could send All-Star DeMar DeRozan as well as big man Jonas Valanciunas across to the Spurs in exchange for Kawhi, pairing him with Kyle Lowry.

The move would no doubt put Toronto up there with the Boston Celtics to win the East next season, something the Raptors have been trying to do since 2015.

The Lakers, and the Spurs for that matter aren't completely out of the picture just yet, but if Leonard is serious about being traded, Toronto may be the tastiest target for the Spurs to make a deal with.