In the last several months, the relationship between the San Antonio Spurs and All-Star forward Kawhi Leonard has become quite publicly strained. In fact, it has thrown in the picture the possibility that the team could move on from their star player.
One of the teams that have been linked as a possible landing spot in that scenario has been his hometown team in the Los Angeles Lakers. A little more fuel to that fire was that the 26-year-old was spotted at Dodger Stadium on Thursday night when the Los Angeles Dodgers played the Cincinnati Reds:
It's been just over two weeks since the Spurs were eliminated. Kawhi Leonard wasn't able to attend a single playoff game.
Tonight, he caught a Dodgers game in LA. This will definitely be your Laker fan-friend's new favorite video.
— The Ringer (@ringer) May 11, 2018
This is certainly going to take off in many different directions well beyond just him being in Los Angeles that would throw the notion that he is indeed interested in being dealt to the Lakers. It opens up speculation as to why he could attend a baseball game but not be around his during the playoffs a couple of weeks ago.
It further underlines what is a deteriorating relationship between Leonard and the Spurs that could linger on through the summer. Although the two-time Defensive Player of the Year hasn’t been vocal publicly himself, it is clear that there is something awry in his current situation that doesn’t sit well with him and could lead to his eventual departure.
The Spurs have reportedly expressed interest in getting their standing with Leonard amended at some point over the offseason, but that is still up in the air. In the meantime, the Lakers will figure to be in the picture in some sort of manner if San Antonio can’t work things out with him.
There have been various reports about Los Angeles’ strong interest in landing Leonard via a trade or could possibly wait until he hits the free-agent market in the summer of 2019 if he opts out of the final year of his five-year, $94.3 million deal. In any manner, this latest development spices up things even more than another level.