Sound familiar? This is, to a tee, the same situation Kawhi Leonard is in now.
Kawhi Leonard has reached out to James, expressing interest in playing together, according to a report from Yahoo Sports' Jordan Schultz.
Translation: one of the best two-way players in the National Basketball Association, a California native, one year before becoming an unrestricted free agent, has plans to become a Laker and wants to be traded there now.
ESPN reported late Wednesday that the Lakers and Spurs had re-opened trade talks, including a key detail. San Antonio could, theoretically, hold out until just before the start of the season. Wagner couldn't be traded for 30 days once he signs his rookie deal.
Kawhi Leonard Game One of the NBA Western Conference Finals against the Golden State Warriors at ORACLE Arena on May 14, 2017 in Oakland. George is from Palmdale, California, northwest of Los Angeles, and Leonard is from Riverside, 88km east.More news: Trump Condemns Democrats Calling to Abolish ICE: ‘It Will Never Happen!’
If they Lakers trade for Leonard, it could set the franchise back and disrupt their winning timeline. "I believe the Lakers have the inside track for getting LeBron". However, Leonard will only reportedly sign a long-term deal with a Los Angeles team, either the Lakers or Clippers.
Stay tuned for more free agency madness. They have established stars in Kyrie Irving, Al Horford and Gordon Hayward.
James has played in the NBA Finals eight consecutive seasons. He has a long way to go with his game, and his inclusion in a deal to the Spurs who are known for player development would certainly be enticing. Some of the teams interested in Leonard could be dissuaded should the Los Angeles native make clear to teams interested in him that he would only be a one-year rental before signing with the Lakers in 2019.
But the Lakers have Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, Josh Hart and Lonzo Ball (who'd probably have to be conveyed to a third team) to forma package. In the past offseasons, Celtics General Manager Danny Ainge has been aggressive on the free agency and trade market, trying to add a superstar to their team, so it is not a surprise that Boston inquired about Kawhi Leonard's availability via trade.