1. Knicks find their superstar
Spurs get: Enes Kanter, Frank Ntilikina, 2018 First Round (pick No. 9), 2018 Second Round (pick No. 36) via Chicago
Knicks get: Kawhi Leonard
Kawhi Leonards camp stated that his preferred trade destinations either be to Los Angeles or New York. If New York intends on being a championship contender, pending they can get Kawhi, they need players other than just him. Even though it may not be likely to keep Kristaps in a trade package for Kawhi, in this scenario they will, giving up multiple picks along with Kanter and Frank. Starting a franchise with both Kawhi and Kristaps would likely attract other players this offseason. One key free agent this team may be able to attract if this trade is done could possibly be LeBron James. James would be able to stay playing in the East on a championship contender while most importantly still being in a major city. But in order for that to happen the Knicks would have to move multiple other players such as Joakim Noah and Tim Hardaway Jr. in order to free up the cap space.
2. Lakers land Kawhi
Spurs get: Brandon Ingram, Luol Deng, 2018 First Round (pick No. 25) via Cleveland, Future 2019 Second Round pick via Chicago, Future 2019 First Round pick
Lakers get: Kawhi Leonard
Maybe the most likely spot for Kawhi to go to is the Los Angeles Lakers. Reason being is they are one of Kawhi’s preferred destinations and they have the pieces to make this trade happen. If the Lakers want Kawhi they have to part with one of their young stars, possibly both in terms of Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram. In this scenario, though the Lakers will only trade away Ingram along with multiple other picks. If this trade were to occur the Lakers will most likely then become the overwhelming favorites to then land LeBron James. The Lakers are in a good spot this offseason but it’s up to their front office to officially capitalize on it.
3. Philly trusts the process
Spurs get: Markelle Fultz, Justin Anderson, Jerryd Bayless, 2018 First Round (pick No. 10) via Los Angeles Lakers
Philadelphia gets: Kawhi Leonard
Do not rule out the process in Philadelphia to acquire Kawhi. With a top 10 pick this year and the first overall pick last year hearing his name in trade talks this could honestly be a very likely landing spot for Leonard. In this trade Philly only gives up Fultz, their first-round pick this year, Bayless, and Anderson. But it is very likely the Spurs will want more, being that the two main pieces in this trade are still unproven. Some other players that may have to be involved would either be Covington or Saric, which were two main pieces to the Sixers this season, but if that’s what it takes to get Leonard alongside Simmons and Embiid it may be worth the price.
4. Kings steal Leonard
Spurs get: Bogdan Bogdanovic, Iman Shumpert, 2018 First Round (pick No. 2), 2018 Second Round (pick No. 37)
Sacramento gets: Kawhi Leonard
The Kings are dark horse team to land Kawhi but it is a possibility since they have been shopping around their second overall pick in this year’s draft for a proven star. If the Spurs are looking to completely rebuild their roster, since there have been rumors of Greg Popovich coaching no farther than the 2020 season, than this may be the best route. Landing the 2nd overall pick in this year’s draft gives them multiple options of a player they like whether that be Luka Doncic, Mo Bamba, Marvin Bagley IIl, Michael Porter or even Deandre Ayton if he happens to fall. Whatever player the Spurs would happen to choose in this year’s draft alongside Dejounte Murray, and Bogdan Bogdanovic gives Spurs fan some hope for the future.
5. Celtics get even better
Spurs get: Gordan Hayward, Terry Rozier, Semi Ojeleye, 2018 First Round (pick No. 27), Future 2019 First Round via Sacramento or Philadelphia
Celtics get: Kawhi Leonard and Patty Mills
In this last scenario, the team with possibly the best assets in the association pulls off a trade to get Kawhi. Here Danny Ainge and the Celtics go all out in order to get Kawhi for a chance to compete with the Warriors and win it all immediately. Imagine this starting five: Kyrie Irving, Jayson Tatum, Kawhi Leonard, Jaylen Brown, and Al Horford not to mention Marcus Morris and Smart still off the bench with coach Brad Stevens. I believe if the Celtics can pull off a trade as such they will be the best defensive team in the league and possibly one of the deepest. They also become a dynasty for years to come and may be the favorite to win it all next year.
Stats and Info via espn.com, basketball-reference.com, basketball.realgm.com
Pictures via: espn.com/nba/tradeMachince and sbnation.com