When it came to having the ability to put together an appealing package for a superstar in a trade, three teams popped up: Boston, Philadelphia, and the Lakers. All three have some combination of young talent and/or future draft picks that, if they wanted, could potentially put them over the top in a deal for someone on the trade block.
Unsurprisingly, all three of these teams were mentioned as potential suitors in a trade for Kawhi Leonard, but on Wednesday, we learned that Toronto was ultimately the organization to get the job done. There had been plenty of rumors about all three teams in their pursuit of Leonard, and after the dust settled, we got some more insight into how things ultimately went for the Sixers in their pursuit of Leonard.
Zach Lowe of ESPN gave insight into the conversations between Philadelphia and San Antonio from the perspective of what the Spurs wanted in return. In short, San Antonio shot for the moon, only for their efforts to fall flat.
Philadelphia’s potential package of Robert Covington, Dario Saric, and the Heat’s unprotected 2021 pick didn’t move the needle. It’s unclear if the Spurs had interest in Markelle Fultz; the two sides never discussed him seriously, and the Sixers would not have parted with him, sources say. The Spurs made it clear any deal with Philly would require Ben Simmons or Joel Embiid (likely Simmons), and the Sixers weren’t going anywhere near that, league sources say.