Published: Sun, July 01, 2018
Sport | By Stuart Potter

Lakers, 76ers believe landing Kawhi Leonard is key to signing LeBron James

Lakers, 76ers believe landing Kawhi Leonard is key to signing LeBron James

A contract for Kawhi would almost guarantee an obligation from LeBron to sign with the Lakers as the the team intend on re-building a new powerhouse team with the two as well as the soon-to-be unrestricted free agent Paul George.

If they Lakers trade for Leonard, it could set the franchise back and disrupt their winning timeline. There's also risk in landing Leonard only to have James choose another team.

Leonard, who played in only a handful of games last season thanks to a mysterious injury, pitched James on his stellar defensive ability and the way it would alleviate the pressure on James on that end of the floor.

George hasn't been a good fit alongside Russell Westbrook in Oklahoma City.

That could mean luring James and George, who has had his eye on the Lakers for some time now.

Don't expect the Spurs to panic trade Leonard like the Cavaliers did with Kyrie Irving.

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If the Spurs want a lot, the Lakers should offer just that. According to Ben, all of the young players on the Lakers are awful and would not constitute a big enough haul from the Lakers.

San Antonio has been checking the market to see what kind of return it could get for Leonard, but it's hard to see things working out with the Celtics given the questions surrounding Leonard's health and plans. The Boston Celtics, Cavaliers, Philadelphia 76ers and Los Angeles Clippers have made offers for Leonard as well, according to the report.

The Cavaliers can offer James the most money under National Basketball Association rules, a five-year deal worth $209 million, and he could also sign a short-term deal.

The stakes on these talks are enormous, because a deal for Leonard would likely clinch a free agent commitment out of LeBron James.

You should believe what you want about Smith's report. James "didn't text" Durant, Vardon tweeted, and he also claimed that James's possible move to the Lakers "would not be sealed (or doomed) by whether or not they trade for Kawhi". "But my gut feeling is that Kawhi Leonard won't get traded until the trade deadline during the season, and nothing happens at all this summer".

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