Kawhi Leonard’s deteriorating relationship with the San Antonio Spurs has rumors swirling that he’s seeking for a way out. If he’s looking for a bigger market, could the New York Knicks be the fit?
It’s no secret that something is amiss in San Antonio between Kawhi Leonard and the Spurs front office. It’s truly been one of the strangest storylines in the NBA in recent memory. It’s still highly unlikely, but there’s a chance that this odd situation could result in the New York Knicks acquiring the All-Star.
According to reports from ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne and Michael C. Wright, the embattled superstar might be looking for a bigger market. It’s still speculation at this point, but there’s growing sentiment that Leonard could be headed for somewhere like Los Angeles, Philadelphia, or New York.
Kawhi playing for the Knicks is still a long way away from being a reality, but anytime there are rumors that a superstar of Leonard’s caliber is available, it’s going to make headlines.
Obviously, any team in the league would love to have Leonard—yes, the Spurs would still love to keep him. But the question here is whether or not acquiring Leonard would make the Knicks any better in the long-term.
Right off the bat, any deal involving Kristaps Porzingis is a non-starter. Dealing your superstar coming off an injury for another superstar coming off an injury just seems like such a lateral move. They need both to become a serious contender.
With Porzingis off the table, the Knicks would have to part ways with valuable assets and that’s a method that the Knicks have tried and failed already in recent history—see the Carmelo Anthony trade with the Denver Nuggets.
Frank Ntilikina, among other young players, and draft picks would likely be on the table. The question is how much do the Spurs want in return for the guy who was once penciled in as Tim Duncan’s rightful heir.
If the Knicks do decide to pursue Leonard this offseason, it will say a lot about management’s vision for the future.