Last week, the Raptors emerged out of nowhere as the odds-on favorites in the Kawhi Leonard sweepstakes. Leonard, the third best player in the National Basketball Association, would instantly change life for the Lakes and may even bolster them into Western Conference Finals.
Now comes this piece of information from ESPN's Brian Windhorst noting that the Raptors have in fact already made a "compelling" trade offer to San Antonio for Leonard (h/t TSN). Leonard was one of 35 players invited to participate in the camp, which will be led by Spurs coach Gregg Popovich. His persistence to remain quiet only adds to the conundrum of teams with interest in him, but could not pull the trigger on the negotiating table because of Leonard's vague plans beyond the 2018-19 season.
When it became clear Leonard and the Spurs had reached a breaking point in their relationship, and Leonard's camp suggested he won't step in the San Antonio locker room again, three teams were front-and-centre in early trade rumours.
"I think (the Raptors are) in the driver's seat for Kawhi because I think the Lakers have given up, the Sixers have given up", Windhorst said.
If he's traded, Leonard would only be able to receive a maximum of $108 million over four years in an extension, as opposed to the five-year $221 million supermax extension the Spurs can offer. "San Antonio has been determined in demanding a sizable return on Leonard".
There has been little to no public news since the meeting, except for Spurs general manager R.C. Buford publicly stating on draft night that the franchise had every intention to keep Leonard in San Antonio.