The Cleveland Cavaliers aren’t going to sit idly by and watch LeBron James leave, and a new report suggests that the team is making a strong push to land Spurs star Kawhi Leonard in a move that could also keep James.
The NBA rumors surrounding Leonard have been building since he reportedly told the San Antonio Spurs that he wants out, with more than a half dozen teams connected to the All Star forward. A new report from USA Today suggests that the Cavaliers may take a proactive approach in seeking out Leonard, building a stronger team around James that will give him the best chance to win another title.
With free agency now just one week away, there is still no clarity on where LeBron James will go. He has long been rumored to be leaning toward the Los Angeles Lakers, where he already owns a home and his son now attends high school, but the Philadelphia 76ers and Houston Rockets are reportedly in the mix as well if LeBron chooses to leave Cleveland.
But the Cavaliers are hoping that landing the other superstar suddenly on the market will put them at the top of LeBron’s list.
“Yes, the market matters when it comes to finding a good fit for his family. And sure, he’ll consider the history of each franchise and how it might – or might not – reconcile with his personal story,” the USA Today report noted. “But if James can’t find a co-star or two – and we’re talking about an All-Star caliber/Hall of Fame-bound type supporting cast – then it’s hard to see him leaving ‘The Land’ for a second time.”
Landing Kawhi Leonard would not be easy for the Cleveland Cavaliers, as the Spurs are reportedly asking a high price for the player they had no intention to trade, but they could have an advantage over at least half the other teams in the league. USA Today‘s report noted that the Spurs don’t want to keep their disgruntled star in the Western Conference, which would eliminate top trade contenders like the Los Angeles Lakers.
The report noted that while the Cleveland Cavaliers have inquired about Kawhi Leonard, there is not yet any traction to get a deal done. And the Cavs are working on contingency plans as well, with Bleacher Report noting that the team is pursuing Kemba Walker in an attempt to bolster the supporting cast around LeBron James.