Leonard pitched James on his incredible defensive ability and how it would alleviate the pressure on James, the source said. Pairing Kawhi Leonard up with either of them creates a good Clippers team in position for a long run.
As for Embiid and Simmons, it's obvious why they would be excluded from any trade.
ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that in recent days, the Los Angeles Lakers have "not been really aggressive" in their trade talks for Leonard. It doesn't make any sense for the Celtics to trade away their young and talented players for someone who doesn't have interest in re-signing after this year. Leonard isn't a free agent but he has been holding out from the Spurs and it's no secret both he and the team want a trade.
It will be hard for the Lakers to get a deal done in a one-on-one swap. This is one of several reasons why neither of them may obtain him.
If the Lakers were to agree to a contract with George, who opted out of the final year and $20.7 million of his contract with the Thunder, then it would be a clear sign that James is headed to Los Angeles.
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George is in a similar situation as James.
The Spurs have always been most intrigued with Boston's trade assets, but it remains unclear how rich of a package the Celtics are willing to offer without a full understanding of the long-term implications of Leonard's quadriceps injury, or an assurance that they can be certain of Leonard's willingness to consider a long-term commitment next summer, league sources said.
Time is not on the side of Los Angeles, and this is a smart tactic from the San Antonio front office. Philadelphia and Houston are interested in pursuing George now that he's told Oklahoma City that he won't opt in for the final year of his contract, according to ESPN.
A trade to the Lakers.
San Antonio has seemingly come to the conclusion that trading Leonard would be the best play to run, but it can not afford to let him go without a reasonable return. Having history to preclude trade discussions could force things to stall or have the Spurs send Kawhi Leonard to another team.