Leonard doesn't have a no-trade clause, so the Spurs don't have to trade him anywhere they don't want to.
The difference in opinion is driven primarily by a recent report from Get More Sports' Chris Sheridan that suggested that San Antonio would not consider trading Leonard to a Western Conference peer.
In addition to the Lakers, the Los Angeles Clippers, Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers are among some of the other teams who have initially been raised as being legitimate contenders for his services.
But this goes well beyond the court itself, hence Leonard not batting much of an eyelid at the idea of sacrificing a max deal with the Spurs.
Cleveland does have the No. 8 overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, but that won't almost be enough to grab a player of Kawhi's talent level. That means that next, the Spurs have to decide that it is in their best interests to immediately trade Leonard, who still has a year left on his contract. According to Sheridan, however, that's exactly what the San Antonio intends to do. Furthermore, it's likely that LeBron James is leaving Cleveland as a free agent this Summer and there's no way Leonard would re-sign after the 2018-19 season without the 4x NBA MVP by his side. While he may lose out slightly if he leaves San Antonio, he would make far more in marketing in Los Angeles and could form the best super team in National Basketball Association history.
"The Clippers have more to offer than the Lakers".
It could be risky for the Suns to make a deal for Leonard.
As Bell said, there are probably some back channels that Leonard and James can communicate through.
The 26-year-old played just nine games in the 2017-18 season, with a mysterious quad injury keeping him out for longer than initially expected.
Whatever happens in the next month or so will determine the direction of the Lakers future. If that talent ends up being someone like Leonard?