Kawhi Leonard’s agent, Mitch Frankel, might be a good agent in a vacuum, but his lack of NBA experience is making it hard for his client to engineer a trade away from San Antonio.
There are a ton of questions swirling around Kawhi Leonard at the moment. Teams thinking of acquiring the Spurs star want to know how is physical and mental health is at the moment.
Perhaps more importantly, teams want to know what sort of chance they have to keep Leonard beyond next season.
According to Bleacher Report’s Ric Bucher, the fact that Frankel doesn’t have any other “significant clients” is making it hard for teams to get a read on whether or not they can re-sign him.
That isn’t of any concern to the Spurs front office. They’re going to demand a high price for their star no matter where he goes after he leaves San Antonio. It is, however, a massive issue for teams trying to determine what they’ll offer to bring Leonard to their franchise.
In most cases, teams could simply reach out to the player’s agent to have a frank discussion about what he might be thinking. Having that type of conservation requires trust between a team and the agent.
Frankel doesn’t have that kind of equity with anyone in the NBA. Even if he swore to a team that Leonard would absolutely commit to them for the long haul, it’s highly unlikely a team would put all their faith in his words. That’s a great way for a team to get burned.
In the end, Leonard is still likely going to get moved before the season begins. The Spurs want to repair their relationship with the star small forward, but his camp have given zero indications they are willing to mend any fences.
Spurs GM R.C. Buford and Co. might try to call his bluff by keeping him until the trade deadline, but that might further depress his trade value. If the Spurs are going to part with Leonard, they need to get enough talent in return to rebuild on the fly.
That means the team that acquires him is going to have to take a series of major risks. They will have to wonder about his mind, his body and his future intentions. Add all of that up and Kawhi is the biggest risk/reward proposition in the NBA.