Report: Knicks may be in mix for Kawhi Leonard trade
The San Antonio Spurs are currently in a sticky situation involving star forward Kawhi Leonard that has created much uncertainty surrounding his long-term future. It has also thrust forward trade rumors that the Spurs could explore if it is deemed that things can no longer be patched up between both sides over the offseason.
This has thrown several prominent franchises such as the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics into the fray as possible landing spots for All-Star forward. During a recent interview with WEEI, Chris Mannix of Yahoo Sports stated that the New York Knicks could also be in the mix for Leonard if he becomes available on the trade market.
Chris Mannix: Now, you hear the Lakers, you hear the Knicks, Boston will be in line for this.
The Knicks could be an intriguing landing spot for Leonard as the team has in place a promising star forward in Kristaps Porzingis that has become the primary piece of the puzzle. The addition of the 26-year-old would give them a strong 1-2 punch on both ends of the floor in the frontcourt that could help lift franchise back to relevancy from their current five-year playoff drought.
There may be questions about whether Porzingis will be able to take the court in the 2018-19 season, but the acquisition of Leonard would give them a bonafide superstar to lean on in the meantime. However, it is hard to envision the Spurs moving the two-time Defensive Player of the Year to the Knicks, especially since the franchise doesn’t have much to offer in return at this point.
On top of that, New York will likely be unwilling to move on from Porzingis to acquire Leonard while the team doesn’t possess other promising young talent that would intrigue the Spurs to work out a deal. Meanwhile, both the Lakers and Celtics can offer better trade packages in any deal. Nonetheless, the Knicks will be in the mix if Leonard becomes an available commodity this upcoming summer.