Lakers facing pressure to acquire Kawhi Leonard if they want LeBron

Lakers facing pressure to acquire Kawhi Leonard if they want LeBron

As LeBron James remains hesitant to be the first superstar to decide on the Los Angeles Lakers in free agency, pressure is mounting for the Lakers front office to execute a trade with the San Antonio Spurs to acquire disgruntled All-NBA forward Kawhi Leonard, league sources told ESPN.

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.

Kawhi Leonard #2 of the San Antonio Spurs dribbles past Julius Randle #30 of the Los Angeles Lakers during the second half of a game at Staples Center on November 18, 2016 in Los Angeles.

LeBron James, right, might be hoping to have Kawhi Leonard on his side this season. Thus perhaps it should not have been a surprise to see a report Wednesday indicating that James may bolt for Los Angeles and wait to see which other National Basketball Association star joins him there, quickly followed by another report claiming that the four-time MVP was "hesitant" to commit to the Lakers without assurance that the team had already landed some high-profile help.

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So far, trade discussions between the Celtics and Spurs regarding Kawhi Leonard have not been all that productive. For Kahwi Leonard and the San Antonio Spurs, things are clearly past the stage or repairability. George wrapped up one season with the Oklahoma City Thunder after spending the first seven years of his career with the Indiana Pacers. If other teams want Leonard, then they, too, have to race the Lakers for him.

Don't expect the Spurs to panic trade Leonard like the Cavaliers did with Kyrie Irving.

But Popovich and the Spurs made amends with Aldridge over the course of last summer and he signed a three-year extension with the club in October. 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. Free agency is days away, and reports suggest James wants to make his free agency decision quickly.

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