The Los Angeles Lakers have reportedly upped their aggression in trade talks for Kawhi Leonard because acquiring the two-time Defensive Player of the Year would “likely clinch” signing LeBron James as a free agent.
Ramona Shelburne, Adrian Wojnarowski and Brian Windhorst of ESPN reported the latest intel on negotiations Wednesday, which have ramped up over the last 24 hours. The Lakers are under pressure to get a deal done quickly because LeBron has until 11:59 p.m. ET Friday to decide whether to decline his player option with the Cleveland Cavaliers to become an unrestricted free agent.
James’ timetable has sped everything up since he reportedly wants to make his free-agency decision by early July. In 2010 and 2014, LeBron kept the nfl discount jerseys entire NBA waiting for more than a week before making his announcements.
Acquiring Leonard has become increasingly imperative for the Lakers, as Paul George has seemingly warmed to the idea of staying in Oklahoma City. George has been borderline Sharpied into the Lakers’ plans for more than a year at this point—a notion the All-Star swingman has done little to refute. However, the Thunder made a strong pitch to George during the 2017-18 season and seemed to be coalescing before nfl jerseys discount Andre Roberson went down with a season-ending ruptured patellar tendon.
It’s hard to see James leaving Cleveland for Los Angeles without another star in place. The Lakers can offer San Antonio a package that includes Kyle Kuzma, Josh Hart, Brandon Ingram and picks. It’s unclear if that will be enough—or even if the Lakers are willing to sink that deep into their war chest.discount nfl jersey
A core of James and Leonard alone won’t be enough to beat the Golden State Warriors. It’s a good start, but James would be facing a similar uphill battle to the one he has in Cleveland. The Lakers would quickly have to round out their roster with capable role players if George does not come along.nfl jersey discount
But if the Lakers can make the LeBron-Kawhi-George fever dream happen, the 2018-19 season could get mighty interesting.