LeBron James' free agency may now hinge on Lakers' Kawhi Leonard trade

01 July, 2018, 08:46 | Author: Elena Meyer
  • Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

LeBron James' decision Friday morning to decline the $35.6-million option on the final season of his contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers gives the Lakers an advantage over other National Basketball Association teams in their attempts to sign him as an unrestricted free agent.

ESPN reported late Wednesday that the Lakers and Spurs had re-opened trade talks, including a key detail.

James faces a Friday deadline to opt out of the final year of his existing contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers. "It's been slow-building. Maybe the Lakers want to see how this plays out with LeBron; they've already lost Paul George". This means the ideal time to make a trade for those chasing after Kawhi is now. Though Leonard told other teams he wouldn't re-sign with them by the summer of 2019, the Celtics could still trade for Leonard as he has no power of where he goes. Whether or not they play out is one thing, but to say players don't at least engage each other on the subject is another.

Lakers Vice President of Basketball Operations Magic Johnson said earlier this week that he would resign if he isn't able to bring in star free agents over the course of the next two summers.

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Leonard has made this situation nearly impossible for the Spurs.

I was curious as to what lengths Lakers fans would be willing to take to get Kawhi in a trade, so I made a Twitter poll.

The Lakers are quickly moving to acquire Leonard in hopes that he can help lure LeBron James and Paul George to Staples Center. The Lakers have always been considered as the lead candidate to secure LeBron should he opt to leave OH for a second time and signing Leonard would make their pitch even more convincing. "If you remember shortly after, Kawhi Leonard left San Antonio and he didn't want to be a part of that media glare and did not come back until the season was over with". The consequences of getting a deal done around Leonard are so vast that it seems to make sense that the Lakers would get something done.

Sam Amick of USA Today reported hearing "rumblings" Thursday of a "Godfather Lakers offer" to the Spurs.

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