Los Angeles Lakers under pressure to pull off Kawhi Leonard trade

Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Kawhi Leonard has reached out to James, expressing interest in playing together, according to a report from Yahoo Sports' Jordan Schultz.

According to The Post's Tim Bontemps, the "prevailing opinion" in National Basketball Association circles is that George actually intends to return to Oklahoma City this summer on a new pact. First, because the Lakers have a timeline they would like to meet, it really plays into San Antonio's hands, much better than you would expect given the fact that Leonard sort of killed their leverage.

However, it is thought that the Spurs would not sell Leonard to the Lakers or any other Western Conference franchise for that matter.

Sam Amick of USA Today reported hearing "rumblings" Thursday of a "Godfather Lakers offer" to the Spurs.

The offer could include a combination of the Lakers young talent, including Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, Julius Randle in a sign-and-trade and multiple future draft picks.

LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers shares a laugh with head coach Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs at the end of the game at AT&T Center on January 23, 2018 in San Antonio, Texas.

However, following reports that LeBron James is hesitant to be the first star to go to the Lakers and that Paul George might stay in Oklahoma City, the Lakers may have to trade for Leonard to get the ball rolling.

He has now lost back-to-back finals against the men from the Bay Area since they acquired Kevin Durant, which included a humiliating sweep earlier this month. Not only did ESPN report Wednesday that George is no longer assured of signing with the the Lakers, but it also referenced George (who said last summer he would eventually sign with the Lakers) as a reason pressure is mounting.

LA officials believe that acquiring Leonard before free agency would improve their chances of landing James.

The Lakers of course aren't the only team that would love to land James.

The fact of the matter is that a Lakers team led by LeBron and Kawhi would immediately contend for a championship.

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