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Report: Cavs to Pursue Kawhi Leonard in an Attempt to Keep LeBron James
- Updated: June 17, 2018
According to a recent report, it seems those predictions were accurate as the Cavs have reportedly already reached out to the Spurs to inquire about their disgruntled star.
“The Cavs are one of several teams making calls to San Antonio about Kawhi Leonard,” Terry Pluto of Cleveland.com wrote. “It’s hard to see how they can work a deal for Leonard, who has only one year left on his contract. Reports are he wants to play for the Lakers.”
Based on the Cavs’ interest in bringing a player like Leonard to Cleveland, it seems quite clear that they are attempting to bolster the star power on their roster. If they manage to bring in a talent such as Leonard ahead of the July 1 free-agency period, it could be enough to convince LeBron James to remain in Cleveland.
Pluto continued to explain what kind of assets the Cavs would have to deal to secure the two-time Defensive Player of the Year, who currently has just one year left on his contract. Based on the assets he described, it seems clear that Cleveland would have to be willing to mortgage its future in an attempt to keep the James era alive.
He compared the potential trade that the Oklahoma City Thunder made last summer for Paul George.
“George joined Russell Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony in OKC,” he wrote. “The Thunder lost in the first round of the playoffs. If George leaves, what do they have to show for the trade? Any deal with the Spurs for Leonard would mean trading draft picks and younger players.”
He also discussed the possibility of the Cavs trading away Kevin Love for the former Finals MVP, but admitted that a straight-up deal would likely not be enough.
“Kevin Love has a $24 million deal for 2018-19 and a $25 million player option for 2019-20,” Pluto explained. “That could make him attractive in a trade. But I’m not sure a Leonard/Love deal would have much interest to the Spurs, who would want multiple assets.”
It’s clear that the Cavs acquiring Leonard is a bit of a long shot. However, it also seems that it is nowhere near impossible. It all depends on how much the Cavs are willing to give up to try and see if they can keep James around for a little while longer.