19 June, 2018
It looks as if the Cavs have at least one plan in mind to try to keep LeBron James in town: Trade for Kawhi Leonard. Last week, it was reported that Leonard "has grown uncomfortable with the Spurs organization" and that he is eyeing a trade to Los Angeles, preferably to the Lakers.
This summer, it's expected a host of players across the league are likely to be on the move as teams explore avenues to close the gap on the now back-to-back champion Golden State Warriors.
Scott Bordow of AZCentral.com, however, refuted the notion that Phoenix would be willing to deal the first No. 1 overall pick in franchise history for Leonard.
For the Cavaliers, they'd be far worse off if they dealt the pick and brought in Leonard just to see him miss the majority of the season and then dart to LA anyway. Maybe San Antonio would take a lesser package in return to send Leonard to the East and not help a rival like the Lakers.
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Riley has said before that if he were to be shown the right name, he would go all in on him.
The LA Lakers are believed to be Leonard's favoured destination, with the organisation from his home city also monitoring soon-to-be free agent LeBron James. Four years later, he returned to Cleveland to team with Irving, after receiving assurances from the Cavs that they'd trade the player they just picked #1 in the draft, Andrew Wiggins, for an all-star, which turned out to be Kevin Love. With the draft under a week away and one of the league's five best players on the market, the National Basketball Association hot stove is going to heat up.
The Lakers have many Free Agents on their books this offseason, totaling $92.3 Million in cap holds this offseason.
A few obstacles stand in the way of Cleveland pulling off a deal for Leonard.
Therefore, it seems fair to assume that James will now seek a similar arrangement. But for that to happen, the Lakers would have to trade someone of value. If that talent ends up being someone like Leonard?