With the start of the 2018-2019 NBA season at hand, a lot of eyes are on the new-look Los Angeles Lakers — who are now led by LeBron James. While the team may not end up contending for a title this year, there is the possibility that free agent signings and trades could make them true contenders in the seasons to come. If the rumors are to be believed, though, two of the best players in the league don’t even want to play alongside LeBron.
There have been plenty of rumors flying around –with the Inquisitr reporting that some believe that Damian Lillard will be with the L.A. Lakers before the trade deadline. Anything is possible in the great game of basketball, but some players may end up controlling their own destiny despite lucrative offers — and many are not even looking at Los Angeles as an option, at least according to the rumor mill.
According to The Ringer, there are “whispers” going around the league that neither Jimmy Butler nor Kawhi Leonard wants to play with LeBron James. There is no real reason given as to why they would choose not to play with “The King.”
Both players are eligible to become free agents after the current season, and they could end up going anywhere. Kawhi Leonard requested a trade from the San Antonio Spurs, and they dealt him away to the Toronto Raptors. That may not be where he wants to stay, however.
In Minnesota, Jimmy Butler’s relationship with the Timberwolves is on very thin ice indeed — and appears as if it could break apart at any moment. He’s made it perfectly clear that he wants to be traded, and it appears as if the team has tried to do that. It also appears that they couldn’t find the right offer in order to get it done.
Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor told the Star Tribune that despite Jimmy Butler’s trade request, he’s going to be a “regular team player.” The two had a meeting, and both parties realize that Butler signing with the T-Wolves in free agency is not likely. He will, of course, honor his contract to play this year.
“Yes, I think that he’s made it very clear that he would not re-sign with us at the end of the year, and therefore, it is in our interest to get a trade so that we can get a player or two to replace him that helps our team.”
Jimmy Butler is still in his twenties and would be a valuable asset to any team in the league, while Kawhi Leonard is a dominant force overall. Bringing them to any roster would make that team better, but if the rumors are to be believed, they don’t want to be a part of the L.A. Lakers organization.