Lakers are Leonard's preferable destination. Well, this changes the landscape of the NBA offseason. LeBron James is expected to be available and same with Paul George. Leonard is one of the best players in the NBA and he's probably only the second-best player on the market.
This is obviously bad news for the Spurs, who may be forced to trade their star player, a guy who has won the defensive player of the year award twice and he's only Though the Spurs could get a significant haul in a trade, that is much easier said than done.
Just look at what the Cavs were left with after dealing Kyrie Irving. He already has a championship ring. Though he would have a much better chance of reaching the Finals if he went to an Eastern Conference team, L.
If he goes there and becomes the star, he will get all the endorsements he wants. Leonard staying West would also be excellent news for the Wizards and other teams in the East. And even better would be if he attracts other stars to join him. Rumors have linked James to the Lakers as well. What if he goes there to team up with Leonard?
Meanwhile, the East would be wide open for the first time since James' run of eight straight NBA Finals appearances began. That is all assuming, however, that the Spurs would even consider trading Leonard to the team he wants to go to.
They have many reasons to not honor his request. For one, shipping him to another Western Conference team hurts their own chances of contending for a Finals appearances. Secondly, they can't be happy this guy wants to leave them when things have gone so well during their tenure together. To expect them to do him a favor is probably unrealistic.
The Spurs would probably be best-served sending Leonard to the East and focusing solely on getting the best package of draft picks they can find. San Antonio won 47 games last year despite Leonard missing 73 of them due to injury.
They can continue to compete without him while using the draft to find their next star.