- Report: Cavs Would ‘Gladly’ Trade for Gordon Hayward This Offseason
- Report: Kyrie Irving Was ‘Strange’ and ‘Angry’ After Winning 2016 NBA Championship
- LeBron James Again Named One of Time’s 100 Most Influential People
- Charles Barkley Roasts Shaquille O’Neal for His Miserable Tenure on Cavs
- Report: Cavs Have Compiled List of Potential Suitors for J.R. Smith
- Report: There Were Weeks Where LeBron’s Agent and David Griffin ‘Drove Each Other Nuts’
- Collin Sexton Sends Special Thanks to Cavs Organization, Teammates and Fans
- LeBron James’ Former Cavs Coach Calls Him a ‘Coach Killer’
- Zion Williamson Officially Declares for 2019 NBA Draft With Epic Video
- Report: Several Executives Couldn’t Believe Cavs Thought They Were Going to Make Playoffs
Report: LeBron James ‘Hesitant’ to Join Lakers Due to One Huge Concern
- Updated: June 28, 2018
Based on a recent report, however, there could be one hang-up regarding James’ potential future with the Lakers.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Brian Windhorst, and Ramona Shelburne, Los Angeles could become a much less desirable destination for the four-time MVP if it is unable to attract other All-Star talents:
“As LeBron James remains hesitant to be the first superstar to decide on the Los Angeles Lakers in free agency, pressure is mounting for the Lakers front office to execute a trade with the San Antonio Spurs to acquire disgruntled All-NBA forward Kawhi Leonard, league sources told ESPN.
“There’s a race to secure Leonard before James is faced with deciding whether to become a free agent on Friday, especially with concern that Oklahoma City’s Paul George is no longer assured of signing with the Lakers, league sources said.”
Earlier this offseason, it was predicted by some that James, Leonard, and George would all be heading to Los Angeles to form the league’s next super team. It now appears as though that plan could be hanging in the balance:
“Los Angeles could be risking a scenario of James staying in Cleveland or going elsewhere and the Spurs trading Leonard to a destination where he becomes comfortable and hedges on joining the Lakers next year.
“The Lakers have been weighing the conservation of young assets and future draft picks against the possibility of getting shut out in free agency. The Lakers hoped to lure James and George in free agency, which would give them more leverage in Leonard trade talks, or simply for the ability to wait until next year to sign Leonard.”
It seems as though the Laker’s inability to lure other stars could breathe life into the hope that James will continue his career in Cleveland. Still though, the three NBA insiders seem to believe it is something of a long shot:
“James hasn’t ruled out a return to Cleveland, but his chances of staying with a reshaped and upgraded roster are murky.
“The Cavaliers have been working on several trade and salary-cap-clearing possibilities to be aggressive in free agency, but they have been stymied in attempts to meet or discuss scenarios with James, league sources said. James had been clear that he wouldn’t engage with the Cavaliers throughout the pre-draft and pre-free-agent process, and he has stayed consistent with that posture.”
They added that the Cavs have indeed reached out to the Spurs regarding Leonard’s availability, but that their available assets will likely fall short of other potential deals across the league.
In the end, James could very well decide that he is willing to step into the unknown and hope that his decision to sign with the Lakers will convince other talented free agents to do the same.
If he doesn’t do that, it’s quite possible that the Cavs could have a real chance at bringing their star player back for another season.