And while he's not the best player in the NBA, Kawhi can still vault the Sixers to a formidable powerhouse in the East.
Leonard pitched James on his incredible defensive ability and how it would alleviate the pressure on James, the source said. Or the Rockets could sign James as a free agent, but it would make it impossible for them to re-sign free agents Chris Paul, Trevor Ariza and Clint Capela without those players taking substantial paycuts.
It seems like each day there are more and more rumors regarding where some of the NBA's top stars will end up this offseason.
In the case of the Lakers, they have the pieces to obtain Kawhi Leonard, but their heated rivalry with the Spurs makes consummating a trade hard. Philadelphia and Houston are interested in pursuing George now that he's told Oklahoma City that he won't opt in for the final year of his contract, according to ESPN. Pairing Kawhi Leonard up with either of them creates a good Clippers team in position for a long run. Though, the Lakers reportedly cooled in their pursuit leading up to free agency. While he may re-sign with them anyway, there's really no reason to other than money.
Cavs select Bama's Sexton to help convince LeBron to stay
While it starts with the draft, it is unclear how much the Cavs draft picks will impact James decision either way. Sexton averaged 19.2 points as a freshman at Alabama and is an explosive runner, jumper, and defender.
George isn't the only free agent the Lakers could target in a pairing with James. Point guard Shai Gilgeous Alexander, who was drafted by the Clippers in June, is one of the promising young players being rumored as part of the trade package for Kawhi Leonard. San Antonio has had hopes of repairing its tattered relationship with Leonard and ultimately getting to a comfort level with offering the $219 million super maximum contract extension.
Last month, The Ringer's Kevin O'Connor quoted multiple National Basketball Association executives as saying San Antonio would not settle for anything less than a "grand-slam" offer for Leonard. However, the Spurs are insisting on a much bigger haul than the Lakers are offering.
Leonard can become a free agent next summer. But 2019-20 could turn out to be a real problem with Leonard and Irving having the option next summer to skip the a year ago of their deals and enter the market.
Plus, the Spurs might not wish to aid the rival Lakers to such a degree. Having history to preclude trade discussions could force things to stall or have the Spurs send Kawhi Leonard to another team.