Suns might try to trade No. 1 pick for Kawhi Leonard

It seems Spurs star Kawhi Leonard could be a resident of Los Angeles sooner rather than later, but perhaps on the other side of town.

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.

IF LeBron James were to sign a contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers for the 2018-19 season - in order to set up a sign-and-trade with the Los Angeles Lakers - 2017 No.2 pick Lonzo Ball is expected to go the other way. San Antonio first, of course, has to try and move Leonard, who still has one year left on his contract. According to Sheridan, however, that's exactly what the San Antonio intends to do. Online sportsbook BetDSI places Boston atop the list of likely candidates.

Payton, who played one of his last National Basketball Association seasons with the Lakers, has the pulse for these free agents and their potential destination, both being constantly linked to the purple-and-gold since the possibility became known. Just ask Dan Gilbert and Cleveland's front office if Isaiah Thomas was really the best fit for the Cavs, or Vlade Divac if signing George Hill or Vince Carter really adhered to his team's timeline or best interests.

Taking teams with young assets and picks such as the Kings or the Sun's' out of the equation, virtually nobody is going to give up valuable assets for a one season rental of Kawhi Leonard unless they're a team positioned to win now.

The 26-year-old played only nine games this year as he was sidelined for the majority of the season with a quad injury. They also targeted Carmelo Anthony that summer, in an attempt to team him up with James. With two Defensive Player of the Year awards, he would significantly improve what was one of the league's worst defenses in 2018. James would have to commit to returning to Cleveland for any chance of a Leonard-Cleveland trade to be possible.