Kawhi Leonard Odds: Spurs, Lakers, Celtics, 76ers Favorites for 2018-19 Season

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJune 27, 2018

San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard (2) celebrates sinking a basket in the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Dallas Mavericks onTuesday, Dec. 12, 2017, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press

Despite rumors of discontent, the San Antonio Spurs are favored to retain superstar small forward Kawhi Leonard entering next season.

According to OddsShark, the Spurs are 19-20 (-105) favorites to have Leonard on their roster for the first game of the 2018-19 regular season.

The Los Angeles Lakers are second at 59-20 (+295), followed by the Boston Celtics (3-1, -300), Philadelphia 76ers (13-2, +650), Cleveland Cavaliers (8-1, +800) and Los Angeles Clippers (20-1, +2,000).

Two weeks ago, Jabari Young of the San Antonio Express-News reported that Leonard wanted out of San Antonio.

The two-time All-Star appeared in only nine games last season due to a nagging quad injury.

Uncertainty regarding Leonard's injury seemingly created tension within the organization, and ESPN's Chris Haynes reported, "There's a feeling of betrayal that at this juncture, appears irreparable," between Leonard and the Spurs.

Sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski that the Los Angeles native favors a trade to L.A., with the Lakers preferred over the Clippers.

Per ESPN's Ramona Shelburne, however, the the Spurs rebuffed a recent trade approach from the Lakers for Leonard.

The Lakers figure to be busy this offseason. They have cap room to sign two superstar free agents, with LeBron James and Paul George possibilities.

Wojnarowski noted that the Celtics may have some interest since they inquired about Leonard prior to last season's trade deadline.

The Ringer's Kevin O'Connor then added that the Sixers will be among the main suitors for Leonard.

Although they are longer shots, the Cavs are on the radar in case they can acquire Leonard in an effort to convince James to re-sign. Also, the Clippers are a potential fallback if San Antonio would rather deal with them than the Lakers.

While Leonard's health is a question mark, he isn't far removed from the best season of his career, when he averaged 25.5 points, 5.8 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.8 steals per game en route to a third-place finish in the MVP voting in 2016-17.

The soon-to-be 27-year-old is also a two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year, and he won the NBA Finals MVP in 2014.

The Spurs seemingly aren't eager to trade a player of his ilk despite reported issues between the two sides, and since he still has another year left on his contract, San Antonio has no obligation to move on yet.


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