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Lakers Trade Rumors: Kawhi Leonard Wants Deal, Prefers LAL to Clippers

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistJune 20, 2018

Houston Rockets' Patrick Beverley (2) jogs up court during the first half of Game 2 in a second-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Houston Rockets on Wednesday, May 3, 2017, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Eric Gay/Associated Press

If the San Antonio Spurs are going to trade Kawhi Leonard, the two-time All-Star is doing his best to dictate where he ends up.  

Per ESPN.com's Ramona Shelburne and Adrian Wojnarowski, Leonard wants to be traded to Los Angeles, with the Lakers his preferred landing spot. 

Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich met with Leonard on Tuesday to discuss the two-time Defensive Player of the Year's relationship with the franchise and hammer out why he wants to be traded. 

Despite Leonard's desire to join the Lakers, Shelburne and Wojnarowski noted San Antonio is "unlikely to be motivated to facilitate a deal" with Los Angeles. 

Wojnarowski reported in January that Leonard had grown "distant" and "disconnected" from the Spurs due to growing frustration with how they were handling his rehab from the quad injury that limited him to nine games this season. 

The 26-year-old Leonard is entering the final guaranteed year of his contract and is eligible for a supermax extension worth up to $219 million over five years if he stays with San Antonio. He will be able to sign a $188 million deal next summer if he's traded and re-signs with the team that acquires him. 

Leonard averaged 16.2 points and 4.7 rebounds in nine games for the Spurs this season. He finished third in NBA MVP voting last year after setting career-highs with 25.5 points and 3.5 assists per game.