NBA Rumors: Leonard, Harris, Celtics, Ball, Sexton, Pistons

Tobias Harris - photo via Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Kawhi Leonard has declined his player option for next season and while he’s expected to re-sign with the Clippers, the former Finals MVP will listen to pitches from other teams, Yahoo Sports Chris Haynes reports.

The last time Leonard was a free agent was 2019 when his decision came down to the Clippers, Lakers, and incumbent Raptors. This year, his full list of suitors is unclear, though the Mavericks and Knicks are both expected to make runs at him. Miami has also been linked to the 30-year-old, though the franchise reportedly has momentum to ink Kyle Lowry.

Leonard suffered a torn ACL during the 2021 playoffs and that may not scare off potential suitors from signing him to a long-term deal.

More NBA Rumors

  • While there were rumblings that the Sixers were having discussions with other teams about Tobias Harris leading up to free agency, Kyle Neubeck of The Philly Voice hears that those reports are simply not true. Neubeck writes that Harris’ name was brought up briefly as part of the James Harden negotiations last season and it’s likely that the rumors are a result of outdated intel.

  • The Celtics have interest in Spencer Dinwiddie, per Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated. Boston could trade away Marcus Smart this offseason and point guard depth is an area where the franchise clearly needs to address. Mannix names Patty Mills as another potential free-agent target.

  • Executives around the league expect the Pelicans to match any offer that Lonzo Ball receives if they strike out on their top point guard targets (including Kyle Lowry), Mannix adds in the same piece. If New Orleans retains Ball, there’s an expectation that they could make him available via trade down the road.

  • For the time being, a trade of Collin Sexton by the Cavaliers appears to be increasingly unlikely during the free agency period, or perhaps even anytime before the season, Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report relays. Sexton was rumored to be “very available” in trade talks leading up to the draft and the Thunder were among the teams with interest.

  • The Spurs and the Pistons are among the teams interested in Bulls free-agent forward Lauri Markkanen. It was previously reported that Chicago was open to working on a sign-and-trade agreement to help facilitate the former No. 7 overall pick heading elsewhere.

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