ESPN's Brian Windhorst thinks the Raptors have best chance of landing Kawhi.
The Toronto Raptors have reportedly emerged as the favorites to land San Antonio Spurs All-Star forward Kawhi Leonard, since the Lakers and Sixers have allegedly lost interest in a potential trade.
During an appearance on The Lowe Post podcast, ESPN's Brian Windhorst explained why he thinks "the Raptors are in the driver's seat."
“I think they’re in the driver’s seat for Kawhi because I think the Lakers have given up, the Sixers have given up,” Windhorst said. “And with the Nets, Bulls and Hawks spending their cap space, it makes it harder to assemble a multi-team trade. I think the Raptors are in the driver’s seat.”
In fact, online sportsbook MyBookie currently lists the Toronto Raptors as even money to land the All-Star forward, which is better odds than the Spurs at +400. According to Bleacher Report, All-Star shooting guard DeMar DeRozan would most likely be headed to San Antonio as part of any deal for Kawhi, in addition to young assets such as OG Anunoby and Jakob Poeltl, as well as a future draft pick(s).
Leonard, 27, has one year remaining on his contract, meaning any team willing to trade for him would likely need to be assured ahead of time that he'd sign a contract extension. Injuries limited Leonard to just nine games last season, but he averaged a career-high 25.5 points per game in the previous season, in addition to 5.8 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.8 steals per game.
If he’s traded, Leonard would only be able to receive a maximum of $108 million over four years in an extension, as opposed to the five-year $221 million supermax extension the Spurs can offer. Additionally, Leonard would be ineligible for a supermax contract if he signs with a new team as a free agent next summer.