There haven't been many whispers across the NBA about Kawhi Leonard being traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
However, with the San Antonio Spurs reportedly holding firm on either signing their disgruntled star to a long-term deal or trading him to an Eastern Conference team, the door remains cracked open for the Cavaliers to possibly pounce.
Adding Leonard would go a long way toward convincing the league's best player, LeBron James, to remain in Cleveland, where he has played 11 of his 15 NBA seasons.
James has until 11:59 p.m. on Friday to inform the Cavaliers whether or not he will be exercising his $35.6 million player option with them for next season.
Back to the point -- how could Cleveland pull off a deal for Leonard, a two-time first-team All-NBA performer?
Here's what he writes about how he could end up with the Cavaliers:
Cleveland Cavaliers get: Kawhi Leonard
San Antonio Spurs get:George Hill, draft rights to Collin Sexton, 2021 first-round pick
Cleveland will do whatever it takes in the next week to get James to stay, and trading for Leonard would go a long way toward convincing him it can stay competitive for at least one more year before Leonard hits free agency.
Leonard and George Hill have already been traded for each other once, on draft night in 2011, and Hill's $19 million salary for next season would make salary-matching easy. Hill's $18 million salary in 2019-20 is only $1 million guaranteed, per Spotrac, so the deal wouldn't require the Spurs to take on any long-term money. The prizes would be the just-drafted Collin Sexton, a tough, defensive-minded point guard under four years of cheap team control, and a future unprotected first-rounder.
The Cavaliers have limited assets compared to other teams that could get in the mix to acquire Leonard, but they'll be among the most aggressive if they think it will increase their chances to keep James. An added benefit for the Spurs — if they're determined to trade Leonard to the East—is that sending him to the Cavs could decrease the likelihood that James will sign with the Lakers, one of the teams most strongly linked to James. It's a long shot, but the conversation will be had.