Los Angeles Lakers, San Antonio Spurs re-engage in Kawhi Leonard trade talks

The Boston Celtics have been linked with trading for Kawhi Leonard

The Sixers could hypothetically offer a package of Markelle Fultz, Dario Saric, Robert Covington, and the 2021 first-round pick via the Miami Heat that they acquired in last week's draft. A Southern California native, Leonard reportedly wants to defect to the Lakers, but that team has a hard choice to make in terms of how many assets to offer the Spurs in a trade, as opposed to possibly being able to wait a year and sign him in free agency.

The Cavaliers have been working on several trade and cap clearing moves to be aggressive in free agency, but have been stymied in attempts to meet or discuss scenarios with James.

Ainge has backed away from deals that would be similar to one for Leonard, as well.

The Lakers have enticing, young pieces but are caught between the realistic possibility of acquiring Leonard as a free agent next summer and guaranteeing his presence for 2018-19.

But if a team like the Lakers is desperate to land Leonard, then it could help the Spurs. George ironically was in a similar position as Leonard - entering the final year of his contract and openly telling teams his preference was to be traded to the Lakers.

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"Hart is part of why the Lakers could be poised to make the playoffs no matter what happens next season". It's believed his preference is on joining the Lakers, even after a meeting with Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich.

The Lakers would love to bring Leonard in this summer, and are feeling some pressure to do so before July 1, according to ESPN. That could mean that the Lakers may only be desperate for a little while longer.

The Spurs reportedly had no intention of trading Leonard to a Western Conference opponent if they could not come to a resolution with their franchise star, but it appears the Lakers are prepared to give the Spurs a substantial offer.

Clearly, the Lakers are playing a high stakes game, and they may be the only National Basketball Association team that is fully equipped to do so right now.

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