Rick Zamperin: Kawhi Leonard joining the Raptors is a longshot

Kyle Lowry and Kawhi Leonard

After missing out on James in free agency, the focus for the Sixers appears to be signing the 2014 Finals MVP and they are reportedly the only team in the Eastern Conference Leonard would consider joining.

However, there are some people around the National Basketball Association who believe it's only a matter of time before he is on the move.

It's been almost a month since it was reported that Kawhi Leonard wants out of San Antonio, and yet the 2014 Finals MVP is still wearing a Spurs uniform. Even if it costs the Raptors a draft pick and a young asset, moving, say, DeMar DeRozan in a package for Leonard would give Toronto a cleaner cap sheet when nearly all of their meaningful contracts come off of the books in 2020.

It has been suggested that the 28-year-old will only move to the Sixers and not the Celtics if he does not get his Los Angeles wish with the Sixers looking to add a star name to their talented young line-up.

However, it was reported last week that Leonard no longer had a preference to play for the 16-time champions as he does not want to play second fiddle to James.

More news: France vs. Belgium final score, recap

I believe Popovich is trying to accommodate Kawhi and trying to please him.
Despite saying that he will only sign with the Los Angeles Lakers when he becomes an unrestricted free agent next summer, Chris Haynes of ESPN revealed that Leonard is now also giving the Sixers a consideration.

Leonard is an attractive piece to add to their roster. And for someone like Kawhi, you absolutely have to get something in return.

Despite Carter's claim, the Spurs are likely to only give the go-ahead to a trade that suits the franchise best - the Spurs looking for multiple assets to fill the void left by Leonard's inevitable exit.

He is still under contract for the upcoming season so the Spurs don't necessarily have to trade him if they don't want to, unless the price is right.

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