The news didn't come as a shock after Leonard's tumultuous season, during which he appeared in just nine games.
It's unclear who the Lakers would send the Spurs in order to acquire Leonard, who is eligible for a five-year, $219-million contract extension from San Antonio. The Celtics initially reached out regarding Leonard prior to the February trade deadline, but their proposition was declined with no counterproposal.
When players the caliber of George and Leonard hit the market, almost every contender considers the possibility of a trade because of the impact they can have on an organization.
Kawhi's desire to be traded away from the Spurs is something which Kyrie Irving can relate to, as he went through a similar situation with the Cleveland Cavaliers last summer before he was traded away to the Boston Celtics. As was the case a year ago with Paul George, other teams will undoubtedly engage in talks with the Spurs for the talented forward and they can trade him wherever they like.
The Spurs have other draft prospects to evaluate in the meantime, as they now hold the No. 18 pick in the first round. However, during all of that mess, reports surfaced that the Spurs were planning on giving Leonard the super max deal to help ease the tension. Though, with Friday's news that Leonard wants out, it brought up the "Did they ever meet?" question, and, if so, how did it result?
Markkanen would probably have to be packaged with the No. 7 overall pick in the upcoming draft.
The Clippers are poised to begin their own rebuilding effort after missing the playoffs for the first time in seven seasons.
The question with that is how much these other teams are willing to give up for Leonard, who can opt-out of his contract next summer.
"Several league sources told me they anticipate Suns general manager Ryan McDonough to probe a Leonard deal using the no. 1 pick", O'Connor wrote. A player like Leonard demands a pretty big return.