Oklahoma City announced on Friday that forward Serge Ibaka, one of the NBA’s best shot blockers and defensive anchors, will miss the remainder of the playoffs with a calf strain.
The Thunder followed that up by telling the media on Sunday that Ibaka would not travel with the team on their flight to San Antonio in advance of the Western Conference Finals, which begin Monday.
And still, the Spurs remain skeptical to the point of paranoia.
“I don’t really believe it,” said point guard Tony Parker, who has been cleared to play in the opener after straining his left hamstring in the second round. “I’ll believe when I see tomorrow he is not on the court. It’s hard to believe. We’ll see tomorrow.”
Said Kawhi Leonard, “We’re still not sure if he’s going to play or not, but it doesn’t matter. The Thunder are still a very good team.”
Sources: Clippers Prepared to Offer Tobias Harris, 12th or 13th Pick for Kawhi Leonard
It’s also unclear if the Spurs would be willing to trade [Kawhi] Leonard to the Lakers or any other team. If they are, other teams might have more significant assets to offer, especially given that the Lakers do not have a lottery pick this year. They will select 25th in next week’s draft, a pick they got in a trade with Cleveland.
The Clippers have more to offer than the Lakers. They would be willing to create a package with forward Tobias Harris and the 12th or 13th pick in this year’s draft, according to a source not authorized to speak publicly.