Lakers Trade Rumors: LA Has Not Been Aggressive in Recent Kawhi Leonard Talks

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistJuly 1, 2018

San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard (2) during the second half in a second-round NBA playoff series basketball game against the Houston Rockets, Monday, May 1, 2017, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Eric Gay/Associated Press

It was just earlier this week that the Los Angeles Lakers were reportedly "racing" to acquire San Antonio Spurs star Kawhi Leonard before free agency began, but those efforts have appeared to slow down.

According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski (h/t SB Nation's Harrison Faigen), the Lakers have not been aggressive in pursuit of a trade in a recent days, noting the Spurs' "high threshold" for a return package.

ESPN on NBA provided video:


The Lakers have not been aggressively pursuing trade talks with Kawhi Leonard, per @wojespn. https://t.co/BopWgTOo1P

Wojnarowski and ESPN colleagues Brian Windhorst and Ramona Shelburne reported on Wednesday that "pressure [was] mounting" on the Lakers to get a deal done for Leonard before July 1 because LeBron James was hesitant to be the first star to make the move to the Purple and Gold.

This comes after San Antonio reportedly "shut the door" on Los Angeles before trade talks could ever get started around the time of the 2018 NBA draft. That did not stop Magic Johnson and Co. from approaching the Spurs again, as Wojnarowski noted:

Shelburne, Windhorst and Wojnarowski also revealed the Lakers are exploring the market for an additional first-round pick they can include in a package.

Yahoo Sports' Shams Charania reported last month that Leonard wanted a trade because of the "mistrust" that formed from the way the organization handled his quad injury, which limited him to just nine games in 2017-18. Wojnarowski added that the L.A. native was eyeing his hometown, preferably the Lakers.

The Boston Celtics and the Philadelphia 76ers are among the other teams that have been linked to the two-time All-Star.

James has still not announced where he will play next season, but after being spurned by Paul George, the Lakers may have to make another run at Leonard to try to seal the deal with James.