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LeBron James’ free agency: Reports from around the NBA

01 July 2018

James has until 11:59 p.m. ET on Friday night to exercise the one-year player option remaining on his contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers. 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.

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

While the Lakers are reported to be considering a trade package similar to the one that took Kyrie Irving from the Cavs to Boston last summer, San Antonio will in all likelihood demand a much bigger return. While he may re-sign with them anyway, there's really no reason to other than money. Kawhi's 2019 free agency and his supposed desires of wanting to play for the Lakers has given at least the Celtics concern.

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Leonard has made this situation nearly impossible for the Spurs.

San Antonio has seemingly come to the conclusion that trading Leonard would be the best play to run, but it can not afford to let him go without a reasonable return. The Lakers could have to surrender a combination of former first-round picks - from Ingram, Kyle Kuzma and Josh Hart - and future first-round picks and perhaps restricted free agent Julius Randle in a sign-and-trade agreement.

It will be hard for the Lakers to get a deal done in a one-on-one swap.

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The most recent report surrounding Leonard and his camp was that he reached out to National Basketball Association superstar LeBron James in an effort to play alongside him.

If James, Leonard and George join forces and wear purple and gold next season, veterans who are looking to win a championship now are no doubt going to come knocking on the Lakers' door very soon. Landing Kawhi would likely cause a ripple effect and possibly result in landing LeBron James.

The bottom line is that the Celts would be willing to make a great deal for Kawhi Leonard. League sources told ESPN that should that be the case, his ideal preference would be to make a swift decision on his next team in July.

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If the Spurs want a lot, the Lakers should offer just that.

LeBron James’ free agency: Reports from around the NBA