With free agency nearing, the Los Angeles Lakers are attempting to acquire Kawhi Leonard from the San Antonio Spurs before July 1.
If president of basketball operations Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka are successful, it would reportedly ‘clinch’ a commitment from LeBron James.
The 33-year-old is expected to decline his $35.6 million player option with the Cleveland Cavaliers for the 2018-19 NBA season by the June 29 deadline.
As San Antonio currently has little-to-no leverage with Leonard’s trade request to his hometown, they are currently in discussions with the Lakers as well as the Boston Celtics.
However, according to Mark Murphy who previously covered the team for the Boston Herald, the Celtics have not received any assurances from Leonard if they ultimately trade for him beyond the upcoming season:
Speaking to league executive, one thing is clear. Celtics have not received any assurances from Kawhi Leonard that he wants to come here.
— Mark Murphy (@Murf56) June 28, 2018
While the Celtics certainly have the assets to complete a Leonard trade, they are in the same position as most teams. If the two-time All-Star truly wants to play in Los Angeles, trading numerous assets for a potential one-year rental is a major risk.
As for the Lakers, they reportedly are willing to trade Brandon Ingram and a future first round draft pick for Leonard. However, it ultimately may not be enough as the Spurs are currently seeking additional players and draft picks.
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