LeBron James is a Los Angeles Laker. Holy crap. Sorry, just going to take a second to enjoy this for a second.
Back to business, though. The Lakers’ attention will very quickly turn back to Kawhi Leonard and, well, the interest is mutual, according to Adrian Wojnaroski of ESPN.
Sources: As trade talks have unfolded, Kawhi Leonard’s focus is unchanged: He wants to be a Laker. https://t.co/0wZGf5MrNt— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 2, 2018
Can we go back and enjoy the tweet he’s quoting for a second? My goodness.
The San Antonio Spurs cannot be thrilled about how things played out Sunday afternoon. LeBron joining the Lakers without a guarantee from Leonard wiped away basically any and all leverage they might have had before the Lakers got that commitment.
Leonard might have made sense for the Philadelphia 76ers if it would’ve convinced LeBron to take his talents there, but as that’s no longer an option and Leonard is so focused on Los Angeles, there is simply no way he lends them any confidence that he’s staying beyond this season. Which means they likely will not offer up anything of substance to the Spurs.
Now, the question remains whether the Spurs might hold onto Kawhi for the chance to show him an offer north of $200 million supermax contract at season’s end rather than lose him for pennies on the dollar. Personally, I don’t see that as an option given the distraction that would present and the damage incurred to this point, but the Spurs are absolutely going to be stubborn bordering on petty on this. I wouldn’t necessarily rule anything out.
If the Lakers are able to acquire Kawhi with LeBron on board and other veterans (such as Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who has already committed) probably on the way, the Lakers can legitimately challenge for just about anything in the western conference.
It cannot be overstated how great a day this is for the Lakers. Kawhi would just add to that. This is incredible.