Pau Gasol #16 of the San Antonio Spurs, Kawhi Leonard #2 of the San Antonio Spurs, and Davis Bertans #42 of the San Antonio Spurs look on against the Denver Nuggets on January 13, 2018 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. The Lakers could really help the Spurs out, and the Spurs could help the Lakers by engaging in a Kawhi Leonard trade. Considering the odd season he had this past year in which he barely saw the court for the Spurs amid his injury controversy, it wouldn't be surprising to see him dealt. The Los Angeles Lakers appear to be Leonard's top choice, while the Boston Celtics are expected to be in the mix as well. This means that if the Spurs do in fact decide to trade him, he will have no say as to where he ends up. So whichever team picks him up this summer will immensely improve next season.
But If Leonard is willing to commit to Phoenix long-term, and will put a pen to paper to foster the trade, then that would changes things.
And wouldn't you know, there are the Lakers, semi-functional for the first time in years, with the assets to piece together an interesting trade package. Some combination of Josh Jackson, T.J. Warren, Marquese Chriss and Dragan Bender might get San Antonio's attention, and one of the expiring contracts of Tyson Chandler or Jared Dudley will have to be included to line up the financial numbers. The Spurs would have to provide more assets along with Kawhi, which perhaps they'd agree to under certain circumstances, but likely not to the degree they'd need to in this case.
The Spurs will surely want more than just that first overall pick for Leonard.
With the Lakers having necessary salary cap space to sign both James and George in free agency, they have previously are said to have informed teams no player is considered untouchable.
It should also be remembered that McDonough recently stated that it would be very hard for him to part with the Suns' first round pick in 2019, as well as the Miami Heat's unprotected pick of 2021. They seem to be poised for just about anything right now, and acquiring Kawhi Leonard is no different.