Rockets still all-in on pursuit of LeBron James

Jun 28, 2018, 18:43
Rockets still all-in on pursuit of LeBron James

ESPN reported Wednesday the Celtics, Cleveland Cavaliers, Philadelphia 76ers, and Los Angeles Clippers have all made offers for Leonard, who reportedly requested a trade earlier in June.

The Spurs have wanted to find a way to fix the franchise's relationship with Leonard, but an overwhelming Lakers offer could convince San Antonio to part with its franchise star, league sources said.

The 26-year-old, a former Finals MVP and Defensive Player of the Year, has a year left on his current deal, meaning Spurs executives are likely to demand a hefty package of assets to trade their star man.

Note that this does NOT mean that we can not re-sign any of these players, unlike what some would lead you to believe.

Both Leonard and James are established superstars, franchise players ready to become the cornerstone of any team in the league.

For Irving, the Cleveland Cavaliers received Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and Brooklyn's 2018 first-round draft pick. James had been clear that he wouldn't engage with the Cavaliers throughout the pre-draft and pre-free-agent process, and he has stayed consistent with that posture. The executive pointed out a similar dynamic played out "in Cleveland four years ago", when James very publicly declared he would leave the Heat for the Cavs, after which the latter team made a blockbuster trade for Kevin Love. Magic Johnson and the Lakers have put themselves in a position to sign two and possibly acquire a third max contract.

The key to getting LeBron James may now be Kawhi Leonard, and the Los Angeles Lakers are going for it.

Those comments came after Irving publicly didn't rule out playing alongside James once again at some point in his career.

James, of course, is a contender for the award every year by nature of him being the best basketball player alive, but has not won it since 2013. This would presumably make the Lakers' pitch to LeBron that much more enticing.