Celtics Have Reportedly Made Another Trade Offer For Kawhi Leonard

How the Lakers should convince Le Bron James to sign with them

According to a new report from ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Brian Windhorst and Ramona Shelburne, James "remains hesitant to be the first superstar to decide on the Los Angeles Lakers in free agency". Though the situation differed in some ways (Irving had two years remaining on his contract, not one), the now former Cleveland Cavaliers star hadn't considered Boston a primary choice amongst possible destinations.

On the other hand, the Lakers are apparently feeling pressure to find a way to lure James or George (or both) to Los Angeles. It means the Celtics would have to include a group of players just to fit Leonard's $20.1 million 2018-19 salary into the team.

Leonard is attempting to convince teams that he plans on signing with the Lakers in 2019.

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So far, trade discussions between the Celtics and Spurs regarding Kawhi Leonard have not been all that productive.

For the Lakers, it's a dicey position, offering some of their young core players and future draft picks, knowing it would rid them of their depth if they do land a super-team or harm their future if they land Leonard, but not George or James. He wants to be traded, but only to the Los Angeles Lakers or Los Angeles Clippers.

"LeBron has more than earned the right to approach his contracts the way he does", Altman said.

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Celtics general manager Danny Ainge has taken similar risks before, though nothing identical to giving up a haul for Leonard, who played only nine games this season because of a leg injury but who finished third in MVP voting only one season prior. According to Sam Amick of USA Today Sports, San Antonio does not want to trade Leonard within the Western Conference.

My favorite part in this soap opera is that Gregg Popovich is doing everything he can to stiff-arm the Lakers. No team talking with the Spurs about Leonard has found them to be in a rush to make a deal.

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. 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.

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