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Lakers pressured to add Leonard before LeBron decision

28 June 2018

But according to ESPN's Ramona Shelburne, Adrian Wojnarowski and Brian Windhorst, the Lakers and Spurs re-engaged in trade talks Wednesday, and the outcome will have massive implications. Though the situation differed in some ways (Irving had two years remaining on his contract, not one), the now former Cleveland Cavaliers star hadn't considered Boston a primary choice amongst possible destinations. Bullpet notes, "If the San Antonio Spurs get serious about trading Kawhi Leonard, the Celtics, according to multiple league sources, would like to be involved".

LeBron James, right, might be hoping to have Kawhi Leonard on his side this season.

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This time with Leonard and the Spurs, they would like to have a chance to be in the discussions at the end, though it doesn't appear (again, yet) as if there is much of an avenue for an agreement. If other teams want Leonard, then they, too, have to race the Lakers for him.

Leonard, who can become an unrestricted free agent next summer, missed all but nine games last season due to a quad injury. He's also strongly hinted that he wants to sign with the Lakers when he hits free agency next season, so he could be an expensive one-year rental for whomever wins the Kawhi sweepstakes.

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One agent recently suggested to Business Insider that the Spurs should not trade Leonard, barring a mega-offer.

My favorite part in this soap opera is that Gregg Popovich is doing everything he can to stiff-arm the Lakers. The Celtics have always made their future the priority, so the only way they should seriously be considering Leonard is if it is on the kind of value that another team will be able to top.

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Another preference by James that could impact free agency, league sources said, is that he wants to make a decision quickly in July free agency. If the Spurs wait too long, James and George can make their decisions, and the Lakers could move on from Leonard, knowing they may sign him next summer.

Lakers pressured to add Leonard before LeBron decision