LeBron putting pressure on Lakers to trade for Kawhi Leonard

LeBron putting pressure on Lakers to trade for Kawhi Leonard

If James and George were to opt out and join the Lakers, which has the salary-cap space to sign two top-tier free agents, that could potentially afford the team the luxury of waiting a year for Leonard to play out his contract, or at least give it more leverage in talks with San Antonio. However, ESPN's Ramona Shelburne previously reported the Lakers felt rebuffed after their initial conversation with the Spurs.

If the San Antonio Spurs get serious about trading Kawhi Leonard, the Celtics, according to multiple league sources, would like to be involved.

When it comes to LeBron James' free agency, momentum appears to be on the Los Angeles' Lakers side. If other teams want Leonard, then they, too, have to race the Lakers for him. And the best information circulating through league front offices is that Leonard is still intent on getting to the Lakers, either by trade now or as a free agent next summer.

Kyle Kuzma and Brandon Ingram have been featured most prominently in any suggested trade proposals with the Spurs.

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And the Lakers are desperate to ensure George, who is expected to leave the Oklahoma City Thunder this summer after just one year with the team, heads their way. A sign-and-trade with Julius Randle is a possibility.

Last week, Chris Mannix of Yahoo Sports reported (via RealGM) that the Spurs aren't interested in Ball because of the "circus" that comes with the 20-year-old.

Given what we know about Leonard's desire to play in LA and the haul likely required to win the sweepstakes, I'm skeptical Danny will pull the trigger, even if oddsmakers place Boston as the favorite. The Celtics, Cavaliers, 76ers and Clippers have all made offers for Leonard, while the Lakers never made a formal offer after feeling that the Spurs "shut the door on us", a source told ESPN. Leonard and James would be quite the formidable duo, and there's no doubt they and the rest of the team would reach their full potential under head coach Gregg Popovich.

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