Both Kawhi Leonard and Carmelo Anthony could have their futures made clearer in the near future
Philadelphia eyeing Pau Gasol in Kawhi Leonard trade
The Philadelphia 76ers remain hopeful of pulling off a summer coup in trading for Kawhi Leonard, offering the disgruntled Spurs superstar a way out of San Antonio.
Leonard informed Spurs officials of his desire to be traded last month after a frustrating season in which he made just nine appearances while struggling with a mystery quadriceps injury.
The 27-year-old appears ready to turn down the opportunity to sign a five-year $219m supermax contract extension in San Antonio, believing Spurs doctors misdiagnosed and mistreated the initial damage to his right thigh.
Earlier this week, team-mate Danny Green claimed the situation could threaten to disrupt the harmony in the locker room if allowed to spill over into next season, leaving many to believe a trade could happen sooner rather than later.
According to ESPN, Leonard is believed to be keen on the Los Angeles Lakers as his preferred landing spot but with general manager RC Buford unwilling to trade the former Finals MVP for less than a show-stopping package of assets in return, it appears unlikely he will join the Western Conference rivals this summer.
Kawhi Leonard made just nine appearances for the Spurs last season
The Sixers, meanwhile, remain interested in Leonard – but, according to NBA expert Chris Sheridan, they would also want veteran center Pau Gasol included in any trade for the unhappy star.
He wrote: “When you are having simultaneous conversations with people all around the world and not a single person is telling you ‘that is untrue’, you have a smoke/fire situation.
“And what I am hearing is that a trade scenario that would send Gasol to the 76ers is very much in play as one of the various Kawhi Leonard deals being pondered by the San Antonio Spurs.”
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich might be granted one final chance to convince Leonard to stay later this month when the pair are expected to link up at a Team USA training camp.
But with his representatives seemingly intent on a hasty exit, the chances of reconciliation looks slim.
Carmelo Anthony is edging closer to the exit door in Oklahoma City
Carmelo Anthony buyout suggested, Nets star involved
Carmelo Anthony’s future took another stride towards being resolved last night after it was revealed the Oklahoma City Thunder had been in negotiations with the Brooklyn Nets over a possible trade.
New York-based sports reporter Mitch Lawrence tweeted: “Oklahoma City looking to get something for Carmelo Anthony and talking to Brooklyn about a deal, with Jeremy Lin potentially going to OKC, per sources.
“Nets looking to get pick(s). Want to move Lin and would buy out Melo.”
The Thunder are desperate to relieve themselves of Anthony’s $28m expiring contract in order to remedy an inflated payroll and tax bill currently touching an eye-watering $310m.
In exchange, they would receive another expiring contract, Nets point guard Jeremy Lin, whose $12.5m-a-year deal would ease the sting while providing useful bench production.
The 34-year-old had a year to forget with the Thunder
Anthony had also been linked with a possible move to the Houston Rockets this summer – one that was slammed by Fox Sports host Colin Cowherd as “dumb” and counterproductive – but Lawrence suggested the Western Conference finalists remained unsure of his worth.
“After meeting with Carmelo Anthony’s people, @Rockets brass wondering if he’d be a good fit,” Lawrence tweeted.
“Sounds like Melo might need Chris Paul to intervene.”
A move to Houston would see 34-year-old Anthony play alongside fellow “Banana Boat” buddy Chris Paul but the OKC forward is also said to be considering an offer from the Miami Heat.
The Cavs reportedly rejected the opportunity to trade up in this year’s draft
Cleveland Cavaliers in rebuild, snubbed draft trade
The Cleveland Cavaliers appear ready to accept the reality of LeBron James’ departure in beginning to rebuild and redevelop the roster.
Earlier this week, reports indicated 37-year-old shooter Kyle Korver was being shopped around by general manager Koby Altman, leading to speculation surrounding Kevin Love’s future in Ohio.
Altman rubbished rumours the Cavs would consider trading Love this summer and stated the team’s goal would be to remain competitive next season.
But with a bloated cap-sheet housing an uninspiring roster, Cleveland might be tempted to offload the 29-year-old, who could become a free agent next summer, for the right price.
Cleveland.com’s Joe Vardon highlighted a different approach being taking by team executives after revealing the Cavs had turned down the opportunity to trade up in the draft for the likes of Luka Doncic or Trae Young.
The Atlanta Hawks are believed to have offered the Cavs the chance to take the No 3 pick in exchange for taking on Kent Bazemore’s $18m-a-year deal.
But Altman opted against placing further pressure on the payroll by holding firm, instead selecting Colin Sexton with the team’s own No 8 pick.