The ongoing dispute between Kawhi Leonard and the San Antonio Spurs could lead to an inevitable divorce in the upcoming offseason. If they fail to convince him to sign a massive extension, the Spurs may consider making Leonard available on the trade market. One of the teams who could express interest in trading for the All-Star forward is the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Like the Spurs, the Cavaliers will also be facing a huge dilemma regarding their superstar, LeBron James, this summer. Multiple NBA rumors claimed James will be leaving Cleveland for the second time to chase for another NBA championship title with another team. Luckily, the Cavaliers have the Brooklyn Nets’ 2018 first-round pick to speed up the rebuilding process if ever James really leaves.
However, despite not moving the Nets’ pick before the February 8 trade deadline, Cavaliers general manager Koby Altman made it clear that they are keeping every option open. As most people think, the Cavaliers could also use the pick to acquire another superstar to convince James to stay.
According to Nathan Beighle of King James Gospel, Cleveland could explore a trade package centered on the Nets’ pick to acquire Kawhi Leonard from the Spurs. Beighle sees chemistry and recurring quad injury as the potential disadvantages of trading for Leonard. However, he believes Leonard isn’t the same as Isaiah Thomas, who failed to make a huge impact and became a headache in the locker room in his short stint in Cleveland.
“Leonard is nothing like Isaiah Thomas, so while James has had his fair share of trouble with other superstars in the past, this should be nothing like that. James and Leonard should be able to mesh without much effort.”
Kawhi Leonard is one of the best two-way players in the league. His potential arrival will undeniably boost the Cavaliers’ defense, which currently ranks 28th, allowing 109.3 points per 100 possessions, according to ESPN. LeBron James will surely love the idea of playing alongside Leonard, a known “LeBron Stopper.”
James, 33, continues to establish an impressive performance every game. However, there is no doubt that he’s already on the downside of his career. The most important thing to him right now is to win NBA championship titles. It can only be possible if the Cavaliers continuously surround him with quality players who can help him beat any powerhouse teams in the league, especially the Golden State Warriors.
As of now, it’s early to talk about the potential James-Leonard frontcourt tandem with the Cavaliers and the Spurs focused on improving their ranking in their respective conferences. However, it’s interesting to know what the Cavaliers plan to do with the Nets’ pick and their strategy to convince James to stay in Cleveland.