Kawhi Leonard Wants Out and the Sixers are on the Clock

© Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Yesterday, I broke down a Woj report that San Antonio Spurs coach Greg Popovich would be sitting down in the coming weeks with his estranged superstar Kawhi Leonard with the hopes of working things out and discussing an extension. My oh my how things have changed:

As I wrote yesterday:

“What once seemed like an impossibility – parting ways with the 2014 NBA Finals MVP, two-time Defensive Player of the Year, and two-time All-NBA First Team selection – now appears to be a formality, with the Sixers mentioned as a contender to acquire his services.”

ESPN’s Bobby Marks wrote of a hypothetical Sixers trade for Leonard:

“Philadelphia will need to rely on coach Brett Brown and his relationship with Leonard from his days as an assistant in San Antonio. Because Philadelphia is restricted in what it can offer Leonard in an extension before free agency (four years, $107 million; six months after he is acquired), both sides would be relying on a handshake agreement before the trade is completed. Essentially, the Sixers would be risking three assets because they trust Leonard.”

Recent Sixers assistant coaching hire Monty Williams spent the past two years as the vice president of basketball operations in the same front office as R.C. Buford, while Brett Brown served on Gregg Popovich’s staff with Leonard as a player. With Leonard now presumably on the trading block, the Sixers would appear to be a legitimate contender in acquiring his services.

A trade involving Robert Covington and Markelle Fultz, along using the Stretch Provision on Jerryd Bayless, could clear enough cap space for the Sixers to make a run at a max player like LeBron James or Paul George to pair with Kawhi, Ben Simmons, and Joel Embiid.

One would be reckless to ignore the potential package of draft picks and star players Boston could offer, including Kyrie Irving or – could they be so cold – Gordon Hayward. The Lakers are also believed to be interested in offering a package including young players like Kyle Kuzma, Lonzo Ball, or Brandon Ingram. In the latter scenario, they could clear enough cap space to make a super team of Kawhi, PG13, and LeBron. There’s also this:

And this, from the night before, is as close as you can get to tampering without burning your hand.

The NBA off-season is heating up and the draft is only a week away. I’m not a betting man, but I’d feel pretty comfortable wagering that the Sixers will be in the running. Speaking of gambling, Kyle and I talked about updates in sports gambling on Friday’s Crossing Broadcast:




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26 Responses

  1. Nba is going be biggest joke when Lebron , George & kw go to the Lakers

    1. On one hand, it’d be great for the competitive balance of the West. On the other hand, it’d be catastrophic for the postseason.

  2. Russ – I’m one of those commentators. Remember it’s all the 29 other teams. No one ridiculed you. I offered some constructive criticism suggesting that you change your tone with the readers when trying to report…now I log on today to see you immediately call us out. What the hell man? Haha.

    I can’t imagine a Sixer fan that doesn’t want Leonard. Can’t you even just attempt to listen to the people who enjoy Crossing Broad? Instead it’s immediately back to putting down the reader in your posts.

    My email is there man. Reach out and we can talk in a civil manner. I want you to succeed but this is so damn frustrating.

    1. Like I said yesterday, it’s not all 29 teams. It’s probably a four-horse race: LAL, BOS, LAC, PHI. I’ll stand by that, so feel free to call me out if I’m wrong. The notion that Sacramento and the #2 overall pick will be attractive is laughable, insofar as there’s little-to-no chance Kawhi would re-up there.

      1. It’s fine man. Italked funny because I’m not even trying to disagree regarding who he would re-up with, but rather just pointing out that there are multiple teams who could put together a better package than the Sixers. And all of the players the Sixers could land I would want no one more than Leonard. Personally I consider him a top 2 two way player. Really it was just about how you present your argument/opinion. I know you said you hated the Gargano comparison but you did t again today with a little Eskin-twist. The readers are cockroaches and you don’t appear willing to listen to other thoughts.

        1. Readers aren’t cockroaches! We can debate this civilly. I agree about Leonard as a top 2 two-way player. He’s incredible.

          1. Being obnoxious and exhibiting a ‘better than you attittude’ is not really considered ‘civil’.
            You actually sound like an obnoxious patriots fan.
            Are you from Boston?

      2. Ah Russ. Come on man! So we’ve gone from Gargano to Eskin. I’m a cockroach. You’re right, I’m wrong.

        I’ll leave it as this: I was just trying to point out in your original post that you didn’t even mention that other teams would interested and that they could put together a better package than the Sixers. I will be first in line buying a Leonard jersey. I want him over anyone. I just think our chances are small when compared to other teams’ chances.

        Just a fan trying to make a point without being vilified. Instead you called us out in your next article as if this new report makes your original post legitimate. It doesn’t. The problem is not with the story but how you decided to craft your original post.

        1. The site is for Philly sports, so that was written from the Philly perspective. The original post wasn’t intended as a comprehensive “Kawhi Leonard could be traded, here’s how all 30 teams could get him” list.

  3. Jeezus, this whole time I thought you were a woman named joy

      1. Sir, please don’t make jokes about Kyle’s clothing apparel. It’s 2018 and if men want to wear women’s clothing, it’s ok. Kyle could you please post this gentleman’s ip address, email address , phone number and political party? This is bigoted!!!!!

  4. Hasn’t it been pretty well known for the last couple years that Kawhi wants to play in LA? He’s a great player for sure, but idk if i would get involved with a guy who has his heart set somewhere else

    1. To my knowledge, that’s been more of a Paul George storyline, but you could be right.

        1. I’ve been stuck on a patch of Velcro for a week, hope to be back next week

  5. Victory Boulevard. Santa Monica Boulevard. Imperial Highway. We love it. We love it. Lebron Street. Leonard Avenue.

  6. What’s the earliest Ben Simmons can bolt for LA, because it’s clear that’s what he sees as his destiny, not small-time Philly.

  7. Any chance of the sixers getting moved to another city any time soon?
    I’m tired with all of the CrossingBored ‘columnists’ projecting their ‘guesses’
    on the commenters if they were the word of the almighty himself and then shitting
    all over then if they throw in their 2 cents.
    Actually this just applies JOYONBROAD…

    Kinker is okay.
    I think Kyle got shit canned because he only posts an article when MeekMill commits a crime,
    scams his way out of prison and is brown nosed by his fruity loon fans.

  8. HMMM…looks like JOY ON BROAD edited the article since it no longer references the commentators in the post. So you offend the public by berating us in your article, then you continue to come at us in the comment section, and for the cherry on top you edit the article AND you don’t put a note after you do so in the hopes no one will notice and therefore make our comments null and void.

    Even for a blog i think you need to learn the ethics of journalism

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