Lakers Racing to Acquire Kawhi Before LeBron Decides on Option

Thursday, 28 Jun, 2018

As you might recall, Wojnarowski reported earlier this month that Boston made an offer to San Antonio for Leonard ahead of the National Basketball Association trade deadline in February.

According to a new report by ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Ramona Shelburne and Brian Windhorst, Boston has sent another trade offer to the San Antonio Spurs for their disgruntled superstar. It's widely believed that James is hesitant to be the first star player to sign with the Lakers while recent reports indicate George might re-sign with the Oklahoma City Thunder.

For the Spurs, however, it might be a massive win.

James still hasn't decided if he will exercise his $35.6 million contract option for next season to remain with the Cleveland Cavaliers or become a free agent.

But if a team like the Lakers is desperate to land Leonard, then it could help the Spurs.

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If Leonard does, however, make his intentions of heading to L.A.in 2019 free agency clear enough, it could scare off other teams. Organizations won't offer as much value for Leonard if they know he will be only a one-year rental. The agent reasoned that Spurs coach Gregg Popovich only wants to compete for championships, and keeping Leonard helps him accomplish that, regardless of Leonard's wishes. Leonard has been the subject of trade rumors for a while, but things have kicked into high gear recently after the All-Star forward earlier this month reportedly expressed a desire to be traded.

The Spurs are on the clock, too.

James will have to make his decision to opt out of his contract by June 29. That could mean that the Lakers may only be desperate for a little while longer.

The Lakers would improve their position in the Western Conference hierarchy if they are able to sign by LeBron and Kawhi this summer, but there's no guarantee they would overthrow the Golden State Warriors. If not, they presumably would need to part with significantly more assets in order to acquire Leonard.