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NBA rumors: Anthony Davis views every team but Lakers as one-year stop

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NBA rumors: Anthony Davis views every team but Lakers as one-year stop

Programming note: Watch the pregame edition of Warriors Outsiders tonight at 6:00pm P.T., streaming live on the MyTeams app.

It appears that Anthony Davis has made up his mind. The five-time All-Star (it will be six-time All-Star very soon) reportedly wants to play for the Lakers. and it's only a matter of time before that becomes a reality.

The latest intel comes from ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and Zach Lowe:

Teams interested in trading for Davis -- including the Boston Celtics -- are in full fact-finding mode and the intel coming back is this, sources tell ESPN: Davis' plan is to treat any trade destination as a one-year stop -- except, of course, the Lakers. Teams are learning that Davis' stated intention will be to play the season elsewhere if traded outside of the Lakers, but move to the Lakers as a free agent in 2020.

While this may be the permanent mindset of Davis and his agent Rich Paul, it's also quite possible that there is some posturing going on because the trade deadline is a week away. If Paul is able to convince the Pelicans that Davis is not going to re-sign with anybody else other than the Lakers in the summer of 2020, then it's in New Orleans' best interest to send The Brow to Los Angeles now.

Why? Because why would another team trade a bunch of assets for Davis if he's only going to be there for one season? We know that some teams would be willing to take that risk -- with the belief that they could convince Davis to stick around long-term (we are looking at you, Boston and/or New York).

This is similar to the situation in Toronto with Kawhi Leonard, but the Raptors didn't have to give up as much as a team would in this case to acquire Davis.

[RELATED: Watch Pelicans' intro video with Anthony Davis edited out]

So, how does this new information impact the Warriors? Well, if Davis does get traded to anybody other than the Lakers, perhaps his mindset changes over the next 18 months and he enters free agency in the summer of 2020 with a legitimate interest in testing the market. At that point, the Warriors just might be in position to be a serious contender in the sweepstakes.

That, of course, will depend on where things stand with free agents-to-be Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson. Don't forget that Draymond Green is scheduled to be a free agent in July 2020 as well.

One piece of advice to remember as you think about all of the hypotheticals -- anything is possible in today's NBA so everything is on the table.  Except for the Warriors trading Steph Curry, duh.

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller

Jimmy Butler trade rumors: Butler expected to start year with T'Wolves

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Jimmy Butler trade rumors: Butler expected to start year with T'Wolves

It looks like Jimmy Butler is staying in the Western Conference after all ... for now. 

Butler is expected to start the season with the Minnesota Timberwolves after practicing with the team on Sunday, according to The Athletic's Shams Charania. 

The 29-year-old shooting guard reportedly demanded a trade days before the Timberwolves were set to start training camp. The Miami Heat reportedly emerged as Butler's biggest suitor, and Minnesota backed out of a trade at the last minute. 

Butler then returned to practice on Wednesday, reportedly taking trash to his teammates and telling Minnesota general manager Scott Layden "You {bleeping) need me!" The next day, the Timberwolves canceled practice and reportedly held a players-only meeting, where Butler told his teammates his issues were with management. 

Minnesota opens the season in San Antonio on Wednesday, before its home opener on Friday. Butler told The Athletic's Jon Karawczynski he won't be deterred by a potentially icy reception from Timberwolves fans.

The Warriors don't play the Timberwolves until Nov. 2. Will Butler still be in a Minnesota uniform by then? As this whole saga has shown, anything is possible. 

Kawhi Leonard updates injury status and more, 'I talk to Pop every day'

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Kawhi Leonard updates injury status and more, 'I talk to Pop every day'

SAN ANTONIO — Kawhi Leonard plans on returning “soon” from a leg injury, after missing all but nine games so far this season.

Leonard held an impromptu, four-minute press conference Wednesday following Spurs practice. He won’t travel with the team on their upcoming three-game road trip to Golden State, Oklahoma City and Houston.

But the 26-year-old Leonard says his return is imminent.

“Soon. I don’t have a set date right now,” he said. “But I’ve just got to keep doing what I’m doing. The progress that I’m making has been great.”

He’s been riding a stationary bike and participating in three-on-three drills to simulate the physical contact of games, but has done so with staff members and “not my players.”

The Spurs have struggled without their star forward. Other teammates with various injuries have included Tony Parker, LaMarcus Aldridge, Rudy Gay, Danny Green and Kyle Anderson. San Antonio has lost seven of its last 10 games, falling from third to fifth in the Western Conference.

Leonard watched as the Spurs blew a 15-point lead to New Orleans on Feb. 28 and a 17-point lead to the Los Angeles Lakers on March 3. San Antonio never trailed until the final two minutes of each home game.

“It’s been tough (not playing), but these guys have been doing it all season,” Leonard said. “They’ve been playing great. I’m thankful for the teammates that I do have. They understand the situation that I’m in. They’re playing well. I’ve just got to get better, I can’t come back unhealthy.”

The two-time Defensive Player of the Year played in nine games after missing the season’s first 27 games, but returned to the sideline after playing against Denver on Jan. 13.

“It’s hard to explain, but obviously I’m a competitor,” Leonard said. “If I could play, I’m going to go out and play like I did in the nine games, just to test it out. It just wasn’t where we wanted it to be.”

Team officials said Leonard was suffering pain and discomfort in the right quadriceps the morning after playing the Nuggets, leading them to sideline him indefinitely.

“(The discomfort is) diminishing,” Leonard said. “It’s hard to explain, but I am definitely better. Feel better and am feeling more comfortable.”

Leonard denied an ESPN report that he was unhappy with the Spurs’ handling of his injury and was possibly seeking to leave the team once his contract ends next season. When asked if he wanted to remain with the Spurs for his entire career, Leonard said, “Yea, for sure.”

“Everything was done as a group,” Leonard said. “I don’t feel like nothing was friction. I talk to Pop every day. He knows what the progressions were, he knew what I was doing the whole entire time as well as the front office.

“We made a group decision, so it wasn’t me just going out and saying ‘I’m going to go do this.’”