Lakers Rumors: Team interested in Kawhi Leonard via free agency or trade

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 02: Kawhi Leonard
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 02: Kawhi Leonard /

Recent Lakers rumors are that the team has interest in Kawhi Leonard in either a trade or in free agency in 2019.

As we get closer to the NBA Draft and the start of free agency, there has been plenty of Lakers rumors. Mostly, the Lakers’ interest in LeBron James and Paul George has taken center stage, but another interesting name to watch has been Kawhi Leonard.

While the San Antonio Spurs were able to make the playoffs last season, they did it without their best player in Leonard. Last season, Leonard played in just nine games, as he was dealing with a quad injury that kept him sidelined. Surprisingly, Leonard didn’t rehab with the team and was instead coming to the New York/ New Jersey area to receive treatment.

Leonard’s absence caused a lot of drama in San Antonio, and his relationship with the franchise seems to be strained as of now. While the situation between the two is not good right now, Leonard is one of the best players in the NBA and is going to be a free agent at the end of next season.

Since the Spurs can sign him to a super-max deal, he could be with San Antonio for years to come. However, as of now, it’s hard to imagine that the Spurs would want to make that commitment to him and that he would even sign it.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of, there are teams that are interested in Leonard as of now. One of those teams is the Los Angeles Lakers according to the report

"The Los Angeles Lakers and Philadelphia 76ers have interest in Leonard, each with a differing array of young assets to trade for him now and the potential of salary-cap space to sign Leonard outright in 2019."

As arguably the best two-way player in the NBA, Leonard would be a great addition for the Lakers. While the Lakers do reportedly have interest in trading for him, it’s hard to imagine the Spurs would send him to a long-time Western Conference rival without getting a haul in return.

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However, since Leonard would be a free agent at the end of next season, signing him is always a possibility depending on what happens in free agency this year. Leonard and head coach Greg Popovich will likely be meeting eventually to discuss what transpired last season, and that will likely help clear up where the franchise and Leonard stand. However, if he does become available, expect to see the Lakers make a run at him in either a trade or via free agency in 2019.