After many wrote off the Oklahoma City Thunder’s chances of keeping Paul George around once they moved Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis, they won once July 1 hit when he signed his 4-year deal to stay there.
Many teams could be feeling the itch of trying out the year-long recruiting pitch to the newest disgruntled superstar: Kawhi Leonard.
Following the constant drama between Leonard’s camp and San Antonio has been dizzying at times, but we all know for certain he’s not staying there, let alone suiting up anymore in Spurs colors.
Well, an interesting nugget was dropped into the latest update via ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne. Phoenix is one of many teams who have contacted San Antonio about Leonard.
Woj mentioned all of the following outside of the Suns: Denver, Portland, Toronto, Washington and Los Angeles (Clippers). That also includes the aforementioned names of the Lakers, Celtics and Sixers who have previously had talks centered around Leonard before the 2018 NBA Draft.
With Leonard likely to be in Las Vegas for next week’s USA Basketball minicamp, it allows him to show off that he is truly healthy. Also, he will be alongside Devin Booker during the process, so I wonder if there will be any recruiting going on that weekend.
For Phoenix to really have a shot at this, it might honestly take shipping off Josh Jackson as the main piece in the deal. Maybe throw in Dragan Bender or T.J. Warren as well with a draft pick, and then there could be some serious talks ensuing.
Once the Suns moved up to draft Mikal Bridges using the 2021 unprotected Miami pick, it showed how much they valued him. It could open the door for Jackson to be used as a trade chip if they so please, or stick to #TheTimeline and let the Western Conference ride itself out the next 3-5 years.
However, General Manager Ryan McDonough might not be in a position of patience anymore with only one more offseason to follow through on his plan of playoff berths for Phoenix. It might make-or-break his job, too.
Would Leonard be the ideal gamble to make? It’s certainly something to follow over the next few weeks, because San Antonio might be wanting to get this done once August rolls around.
And for the Suns, this might be the most realistic way they can obtain superstars over the next year or two while their young core is still developing. Unless they surprise everyone and make the playoffs behind Booker and Deandre Ayton, I don’t expect names like Kyrie Irving, Jimmy Butler, Klay Thompson, etc. to really consider Phoenix much of a destination.
Should the Suns create a package centered around Josh Jackson for Kawhi Leonard?
This poll is closed
Yes, it’s a worthy gamble to make
No, it’s a bad idea