It's a fascinating standoff, with Leonard reportedly telling non-Los Angeles teams that he won't re-sign when he hits free agency in 2019, which lowers his trade value.
The Raptors, like other favorites Los Angeles, Boston and Philadelphia, have the young pieces to make an attractive trade package, and they also hold control of their first-round draft picks for the foreseeable future. Leonard, who will be a free agent following next season, is a Los Angeles native and even reached out to James regarding the two playing together.
While there's been no concrete reporting that Toronto is actively trying to break up their starting backcourt, there's been plenty of speculation that the team would look to trade one of their All-Stars. It would most likely begin with DeMar DeRozan, the Raptors wing who fits best to fill out the salary of the trade, and at 28, the All-NBA wing could be seen as a player who can help the Spurs remain relevant.
It may not be ideal for the Spurs, but it's one that would get the deal done.
San Antonio would receive a pretty promising first-round pick while still adding two players to a team that won almost 50 games last season. When healthy, he is arguably the best two-way player in the game. Lowry has two years and $64.296 million left on his contract.
Kawhi Leonard #2 of the San Antonio Spurs battles with Patrick Patterson #54 of the Toronto Raptors during an National Basketball Association game at the Air Canada Centre on December 09, 2015 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It has only been a few months, but it seems like this saga has been brewing for a billion years. All in all, it's not a bad deal and not a robbery by any means.
With all of the rumors swirling, one popular sportsbook now has the odds of Leonard landing with the Raptors the same as the odds of the star forward beginning next season with the Spurs.