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Los Angeles Lakers acquire 39th overall pick in trade with Philadelphia 76ers

21 June 2018

Leonard is a bona fide top-five player.

The Spurs disgruntled all-star forward reportedly asked to be traded on Friday, preferably to the Los Angeles Lakers.

According to reports, he's upset with the team over their handling of the leg injury that forced him to miss nearly the entirety of the 2017-2018 National Basketball Association season, as well as public comments made by guard Tony Parker and head coach Gregg Popovich. If Leonard wants to be a star, and get more exposure than he did in San Antonio, Philadelphia offers him that chance as well. Furthermore, Leonard reportedly plans on telling other potential suitors that he won't re-sign with them in 2019 when he becomes a free agent, as he prepares to sign in LA. Since winning the 2014 NBA Finals MVP award, Leonard has been named the league's Defensive Player of the Year twice with two top-three regular-season MVP finishes.

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It's not known exactly what went down during the meeting between Leonard and Popovich, but San Antonio doesn't yet appear to be in any rush to deal their best player. Popovich even suggested that Leonard might be better than LeBron James a year ago.

According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne, Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich met with Leonard on Tuesday to re-connect with the star forward who has grown distant from the franchise.

Kawhi Leonard #2 of the San Antonio Spurs looks on during the game against the Denver Nuggets on January 13, 2018 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas.

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I understand the risk with him being traded to another team, enjoying his time there and signing an extension, but I value building a team instead of depleting a roster for one star, especially given how the National Basketball Association is moving toward strong teams over one- or two-man teams. This move has all of the signs of them potentially looking for something bigger, but a big deal might not fall into place.

As the draft approaches, we will have to wait and see what comes of this trade for the Lakers.

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Los Angeles Lakers acquire 39th overall pick in trade with Philadelphia 76ers