Lakers "Racing" To Acquire Kawhi Leonard Before Friday

Posted June 28, 2018

The Los Angeles Lakers are viewed as the favorite to sign LeBron James this summer, but they will likely need to add at least one other star player to make that happen.

The Boston Celtics have made an offer for Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard, according to ESPN.

If Los Angeles and San Antonio can agree on a trade, it could greatly increase the chances of James choosing to become a free agent and signing a deal with the Lakers.

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For the Spurs, however, it might be a massive win. In a report by ESPN, it was even stated that Kawhi has literally no intentions of stepping foot in the Spurs locker room again. George wrapped up one season with the Oklahoma City Thunder after spending the first seven years of his career with the Indiana Pacers.

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

On Tuesday, Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson laughed off the idea of being anxious about the pressure to bring superstars to Los Angeles, citing the number of NBA Finals he played in. When Irving first told the Cavaliers he wanted a trade, he gave them a list of four preferred spots: the San Antonio Spurs, New York Knicks, Minnesota Timberwolves and Miami Heat. At the end of the 2018-19 season, the two sides could say goodbye and move on. The Celtics have always made their future the priority, so the only way they should seriously be considering Leonard is if it is on the kind of value that another team will be able to top.

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The Spurs are on the clock, too. That could play into the patient strategy Johnson is professing, but the Lakers may have to push their chips to the center of the table much sooner than they might prefer, if they want to make James's Friday decision that much easier. That could mean that the Lakers may only be desperate for a little while longer.

That help would most likely come in the form of Kawhi Leonard or Paul George - or, ideally, both - but there are some other possibilities, including Chris Paul, James's longtime friend.

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