Philadelphia 76ers: Attempting trade for Kawhi Leonard sounds possible

(Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images)
(Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images) /

With the Philadelphia 76ers looking to improve an already stacked roster, it looks like trading for Kawhi Leonard could be a legitimate possibility during the offseason.

It hasn’t even officially been a week since the Philadelphia 76ers watched their 2017-18 season come to an end following a playoff series loss to the Boston Celtics, but already there’s been plenty of talk about the excitement heading into next year.

Watching the Sixers go from winning just 10 games to a 52-30 record this past season along with a trip to the semifinals in the playoffs shows how much potential Brett Brown’s team has moving forward.

If anything, this past season was expected to be more of a learning experience for Philadelphia with Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid finally healthy.

So to see the Sixers go on to earn the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference was truly amazing to witness, and all eyes will be on what kind of improvements this team makes over the next few months to give them an even better chance of competing next year.

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Believe it or not, Philadelphia has already been linked to a few big-name players, including LeBron James, as potential targets to go after once free agency gets underway, even if the chances of him leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers seems like an absolute long shot.

The Sixers may need to pull off a miracle to convince James to leave the Cavaliers for a second time in his career, but one option that actually seems more realistic could end up being Kawhi Leonard of the San Antonio Spurs.

Basketball fans have become well aware that it seems like only a matter of time before Leonard ends up with a new home heading into next season when looking at all of the frustration between the two parties from the last couple of months, meaning a trade seems likely to happen.

Only time will tell when it comes to whether Philadelphia will end up reaching out to San Antonio over what it would take to land Leonard, but a recent report by Sixers beat writer Keith Pompey claims the interest is already there, as discussed below.

"Don’t be surprised if they also try to acquire San Antonio Spurs small forward Kawhi Leonard in a trade.  Sources have said the Sixers have expressed interest in the two-time all-star. While he is eligible for a five-year, $219-million “super-max” extension with the Spurs this summer, there are reports that Leonard wants out after staying away from the team for most of the season with a quad injury. He played in only nine games.Leonard has a great relationship with Sixers coach Brett Brown. However, trading for him would be risky without first getting a guarantee that he’ll agree to a contract extension.  Leonard is set to become a free agent on July 1, 2019."

Obviously, just because the Sixers are expressing interest doesn’t mean it’s guaranteed to happen since the Spurs are smart enough to know Leonard’s value, and will most likely have a high asking price.

With that being said, the good news is this talk alone shows Philadelphia already has the mindset that adding another star could help this team reach a whole new level next season from a competitive standpoint.

As fun as it was to watch this team make the playoff run they did, the last couple of weeks also showed this team still has a lot of growing to do, especially when it comes to Simmons. Leonard’s situation with the Spurs over the last few months may have been ugly, but maybe a fresh start on a new team like the Sixers could be in his best interest.

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Plus, as Pompey mentioned in his article, Leonard already has a great relationship with Brown from his time spent in San Antonio before taking over the head coaching gig in Philadelphia. No matter what happens with Leonard this summer, isn’t it exciting to see the Sixers in the conversation of serious contenders after all of the years spent rebuilding?