Kawhi Leonard Trade Rumors: Suns Won't Deal Top Pick in NBA Draft for Spurs Star

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistJune 16, 2018

SAN ANTONIO, TX - JANUARY 5: Kawhi Leonard #2 of the San Antonio Spurs handles the ball against the Phoenix Suns on January 5, 2018 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photos by Mark Sobhani/NBAE via Getty Images)
Mark Sobhani/Getty Images

For those Phoenix fans hoping to see Kawhi Leonard in a Suns uniform, it doesn't appear as though it will happen at the expense of the No. 1 overall pick in Thursday's draft.

After Yahoo Sports' Shams Charania reported on Friday that Leonard wants out of San Antonio, The Ringer's Kevin O'Connor wrote that some in the league believed Phoenix general manager Ryan McDonough would explore the idea of trading the top pick in the draft.

However, Arizona Republic's Scott Bordow shot down that idea, noting that the Suns' most likely involvement in a Leonard trade would be to act as a facilitator in a three-team deal.

Trading for Leonard does not make much sense for a team in Phoenix's position. The team has missed the playoffs in eight consecutive seasons and has not won more than 24 games since 2014-15. It clearly needs to add talent—but controllable talent.

Leonard can opt out of his current deal after next season and become a free agent in the summer of 2019. And with ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski following up Charania's report by noting the San Antonio Spurs star wants to play in his hometown of Los Angeles (preferably with the Lakers), there's no guarantee he would re-up with Phoenix should he be traded there.

The two-time All-Star would certainly help the Suns in the short term, but unless he committed to the franchise long-term, the best course would be to continue to add young playmakers—especially with the former NBA Finals MVP missing all but nine games this past season because of a quad injury.

With the No. 1 overall pick, the Suns have their choice from a deep draft class. Former Arizona Wildcats star Deandre Ayton appears to be the favorite to hear his name called first, and he has even come out and proclaimed himself to be the first player off the board:

Adding Ayton to a core that already features rising star Devin Booker and last year's No. 4 overall pick, Josh Jackson, would make the Suns an intriguing team to watch in 2018 and possibly for years to come.

Leonard may want a change of scenery, but don't expect him to wind up in the desert.

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