Tony Parker played soccer in New York City on Wednesday, then kicked aside suggestions he would welcome a trade from a Spurs team whose ability to contend for future NBA titles he questioned a few weeks ago.

He loved playing for the Spurs, Parker told reporters after the conclusion of Steve Nash's charity soccer game.

He hoped the rumors weren't true, he assured.

He didn't really say those nasty things about the Spurs' future competitiveness, he asserted.

Reports that the Spurs were discussing deals involving the three-time All-Star and MVP of the 2007 NBA Finals weren't fiction. But the talks were initiated by teams that had a sense the Spurs were in a mood to blow up their core after the disappointment of the first-round elimination in Memphis.

According to insiders from a team that inquired, each team that called heard the same message from general manager R.C. Buford: Make your best offer, but understand we won't consider a deal unless Richard Jefferson is part of it.

The talks usually ended there, and when draft night ended Thursday, Parker remained a Spur.

The Spurs likely didn't mind the attention paid to Parker. Those rumors kept the focus off more serious talks involving his backup, and before the draft was two hours old, the deal the Spurs had burned the phone lines to make was being reported: George Hill for Indiana's draftee, San Diego State's Kawhi Leonard, plus second-round picks.

Leonard is an athlete who scores and rebounds. We won't know if he is the starting small forward of the future, but the fact the Spurs were pushing Jefferson to the teams that wanted Parker may be a clue.

Two Western Conference GMs told me they were surprised Leonard fell to No. 15 and weren't happy he landed in San Antonio.