August 4, 2021

What if the Spurs traded Kawhi Leonard earlier

Before the trade deadline in 2018, Kawhi Leonard and the Spurs been not on the same page about his injury, and the rumors circulated that Leonard wants out. It wasn’t confirmed until Gregg Popovich went to Los Angeles to meet Kawhi Leonard and trying to fix that relationship that the build for seven years. The former formally requested a trade before and was settled in July after the Toronto Raptors and San Antonio Spurs agreed to send DeRozan, Jakob Poeltl, and a draft pick to San Antonio. The results for it were the Toronto wins the championship while the Spurs bounced out of the postseason for the first time in 23 years. But what if the Spurs trade Kawhi Leonard on draft night rather than dealing with the Raptors.

What if the Spurs trade Kawhi Leonard for the draft rights. Any Los Angeles teams love to have Leonard in the team. As everyone projected the Phoenix Suns to pick DeAndre Ayton the Kings were line up next. Lakers or Clippers can be the third team to make a deal complete. At that time Clippers had Tobias Harris and a handful of good role players. Lakers had Brandon Ingram to starts the talk of trade. Then throwing some picks to fill the deal could be likely. The Kings could bite this kind of deal while the Spurs receiving the second pick overall. The prospect at that time is DeAndre Ayton, Luka Doncic, Trae Young, and Marvin Bagley. In this class, it’s either Luka Doncic or Deandre Ayton that the Spurs can select. With their needs it pretty obvious that they will choose Luka Doncic as the team had some love with guys from Europe. Spurs also need a shooting guard who can score in a bunch like Doncic is doing so far in his career. The team already had LaMarcus Aldridge and point guards like Dejounte Murray and Derrick White so Ayton and Trae Young don’t make sense. Luka Doncic could be a good compliment with a defensive stalwart like Murray and White. If they did a trade earlier, maybe the Spurs are contending instead of rebuilding. The Spurs could be a worldwide sensation once again if they’ve got Luka Doncic.

Instead, the Spurs continue to be average at best with DeMar DeRozan. They had an All-Star guy but failed to secure a win that team’s need. The only good thing is they got Keldon Johnson in the NBA Draft which character is very Spursy. The kid is fun to watch in the future games in San Antonio’s uniform with more minutes. In his first meaningful game, Johnson production contributed to the Spurs win. In the bubble, he continues to grow every time he receives his minutes. Always takes for the challenges just to prove he belongs.

Keldon Johnson’s growth is the reason why that trade could look OK for San Antonio. When he reaches his peak as a player it’s a big factor so people may forget the ‘what if the Spurs traded Leonard earlier’.

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