Published: Thu, June 28, 2018
Sport | By Stuart Potter

LeBron putting pressure on Lakers to trade for Kawhi Leonard

LeBron putting pressure on Lakers to trade for Kawhi Leonard

The Lakers could even acquire a future first-rounder from a team that's looking to unload salary for the 2018-2019 season, and that draft pick could be used in a deal for Leonard, according to ESPN.

The Lakers were long seen as a destination this summer for James and Paul George, but it no longer seems to be a sure bet that George opts out of his contract with the Thunder by Friday.

The risk and price tag in acquiring San Antonio Spurs star Kawhi Leonard may be too rich for the Celtics this offseason, but the Celtics still can not just sit idle and watch Leonard land with a team like the 76ers.

With free agency approaching on July 1, the Los Angeles Lakers are reportedly attempting to trade for Kawhi Leonard before LeBron James makes a decision on his player option for the 2018-19 National Basketball Association season. The most challenging obstacle could be finding a way to acquire Kawhi Leonard.

On the other hand, the Lakers are apparently feeling pressure to find a way to lure James or George (or both) to Los Angeles. Also a native of Southern California, George has always been thought to be eyeing a chance to join the Lakers, but his time spent with Oklahoma City may have given him second thoughts about leaving Russell Westbrook and Co. "They're doing enough research to suggest that he's going to be willing to take that plunge and let the roster come together".

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There were times in the tournament this year where he was guarding great players like Marvin Bagley and not backing down from him. The Lakers brass knows there's an opportunity to be a contender immediately with the potential moves they can make this summer.

The race for Leonard is on, and if the Spurs play their hand wisely, an ugly situation could end up with them bringing in a haul of assets to jumpstart a rebuild.

Lakers president Magic Johnson said Monday he would step down if the team fails to land big-name free agents over the next two offseasons.

Meanwhile, James's oldest son, LeBron James Jr., also has two summers to go before he enters high school, and the possible site of those formative years has become part of the free-agency conversation.

Making things even trickier is that James wants to make a quick decision about where he's headed next once free agency begins on July 1, per ESPN.

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