Kawhi Leonard remains on the Spurs roster, and it will reportedly stay that way unless San Antonio gets a massive haul from any team looking to acquire the all-star forward. That was certainly the case with Paul George, who before signing with the Oklahoma City Thunder past year, wanted to join the Los Angeles side.
According to multiple reports, James is now on a trip to Europe with his wife, so he has not seen these nods in person.
Workers in downtown Cleveland removed the 10-story billboard, which was put up in 2014, when James announced his return to the Cavaliers after four seasons with the Miami Heat. He has once again made headlines after talking about what LeBron James signing with the Lakers means for the franchise, as well as his son. "My sources are saying Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, Kyle Kuzma, two firsts and two pick swaps", Coon reported. Talent wise, the argument can be made that the Sixers would have given the James a better chance of taking down teams like the Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets, but also seeing him join the Lakers isn't the end of the world.
The hesitancy on dealing for Leonard, however, is not just because of his impending free agency. Paul George reportedly made it known previous year that he planned on joining the Lakers this summer, so the Indiana Pacers traded him to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The Spurs initially showed no interest in a potential deal with the 16-time champions as they were a Western Conference rival and would be better off trading him to the East.
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The 2,600-pound banner was originally installed in 2014 when James returned to the Cavaliers from the Miami Heat. The Lakers should have the cap space to sign at least one of them to a max contract, too.
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So the Lakers' pursuit of Leonard may continue.
ESPN reported Friday the Spurs were actively involved in discussions with the Celtics and Lakers about Leonard, but the Celtics also appear apprehensive to go all-in on Leonard due to concerns about his health and the possibility that he could leave in free agency next summer.
Whether the Lakers win a championship this season or not, James is committed to the team long-term. Since the Spurs do still have Leonard under contract for next season, they have some power in these negotiations. The Lakers can afford to be patient in building the team, even if James wasn't on board. LeBron's second spell in Cleveland has ended after four years.
This decision is very different from his past changes in teams, as the three-time National Basketball Association champion focused more on his family's needs in the deliberating.