Which are the five best players of the moment in the NBA? If we said that LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and Giannis Antetokounmpo, beyond a discrepant voice or two, we would surely have a quasi unanimous assent.
And to speak of a player included in a positional Top-5, whatever that may be, is to speak, by force, of a player of such a category, around which to build the future of a franchise. And in the promise of a few months ago Rob Pelinka and Magic Johnson to bring “one or two stars in 2018”, fits perfectly a forward Top-5.
Kawhi, an awesome player, offensive and defensive. Able to stop LeBron James himself -in the most humanly possible – and of all in the Finals. Able to command the team in scoring for three consecutive seasons and be, at the same time, its most ruthless defender.
A player of 26 years and invaluable -although his current salary is at 18.8 million- he could leave a franchise that, although he has proven to be able to sail without him much better than expected in the regular season, the playoffs they are making a wall impossible to climb (0-3).
And the relationship that Leonard and San Antonio maintain at this moment we all know. Or rather, no one knows, because among statements, contradictions, leaks, rumors, messages and silences, we can only affirm without fear one thing: this couple is in crisis.
The seriousness of it and the mutual willingness to solve it, are not at all clear. A mystery and uncertainty that has dislocated us all, and a juncture that the Lakers are willing to take advantage of.