San Antonio Spurs: What if the Knicks tried to trade for Kawhi Leonard?
By Rob Wolkenbrod
If the San Antonio Spurs and New York Knicks were to work out a deal for Kawhi Leonard, it would take a haul from the Big Apple.
There’s no guarantee the San Antonio Spurs will make Kawhi Leonard available for trade in the offseason, but it would be a surprise to not hear teams call about his status. That includes the Los Angeles Clippers, who were already linked to the San Diego State product earlier this month.
As for other potential suitors, could the New York Knicks join the conversation? Frank Isola of The New York Daily News speculated the Knicks should show interest, but also mentioned how the Spurs are “head over heels” with Kristaps Porzingis. His involvement in a potential trade package would be necessary, along with a first-round pick.
Isola uses the potentially available cap space for the summer of 2019 as a way to back it up for New York.
“Any deal for Leonard would have to include Kristaps Porzingis, whom the Spurs are said to be head over heels with, as well as a first-round pick. It’s a steep price, but the addition of Leonard plus available cap space in the summer of 2019 could dramatically alter the course of history for the star-crossed franchise.”
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If the Knicks offered Porzingis and a first-round pick, would San Antonio accept? While the Latvian star has shown star qualities, his status for the 2018-19 season remains in question due to a torn ACL suffered earlier this year. The Silver and Black would not be guaranteed the pre-injury version of this player, but there’s also a lottery pick, if it’s from the 2018 NBA Draft, to lean on and get a top talent from June’s pool.
A Porzingis-LaMarcus Aldridge frontcourt makes for an intriguing pairing. Aldridge can work the post and mid-range, more of a center role in the modern-day NBA, while Porzingis plays all over the court as a matchup nightmare for opposing teams in the Western Conference.
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It’s all speculation, however for a Leonard-Knicks trade. There’s still a chance the Spurs work out the issues with their star and push this to the backburner. It depends on his prioritized meeting, though, which should clarify the situation somewhat.