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Kawhi Leonard still wants to go to Lakers, doesn’t want to be rented for 1 season

Kawhi Leonard, Lakers, Spurs

Kawhi Leonard’s future destination remains the biggest enigma in the NBA world, but according to former NFL-wideout-turned-analyst Cris Carter, not much has changed coming from his side.

“Nothing’s changed from Kawhi’s side,” said Carter on Fox Sports 1’s First Things First. “He still wants to go to Los Angeles and he’s still not interested in being rented out for one season — that being Philly, Boston, Toronto, or any other team.”

The Lakers have pretty much backed out completely from any potential deal with the San Antonio Spurs, choosing to rather pursue him as a free agent in 2019. This strategy has already backfired once, as they chose not to pry Paul George from the hands of the Indiana Pacers and the Oklahoma City Thunder locked a four-year deal with him this summer after trading for him last offseason.

The Clippers are freeing up cap space to be able to sign two stars to their roster, and depending on the pitch and how this offseason plays out, Leonard could opt to join the Lakers’ in-house rival in 2019 if they play their cards right.

The main issue getting in the way of a trade is the lack of information these teams are getting from the Spurs, still unsure if he would be willing to commit to a long-term deal or the state of his recovery from a quad injury. The Spurs, as it is, have had very limited conversations with Leonard, which has made this potential deal that much more difficult to pull off.