San Antonio Spurs All-Star small forward Kawhi Leonard has reached out to Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James to inform James he wants to play alongside him, according to a report from Yahoo Sports.
Per the report, Leonard pitched James on his stout defensive ability and how it would alleviate the pressure on James.
Leonard has requested a trade out of San Antonio and wants to play for the Los Angeles Lakers. The Spurs were hopingcoach Gregg Popovich could convince Leonard to change his mind, but Leonard told Popovich during their meeting in San Diego that he wants out as soon as possible.
San Antonio is ready to move on from Leonard provided that a grand trade offer is put on the table for the two-time Defensive Player of the Year, according to a report from The New York Times.
The Lakers re-engaged the Spurs Wednesday in aggressively pursuing Leonard and talks were productive, per the LA Times. League officials believe the Lakers have to offer the Spurs a package built around Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, Josh Hart and future first-round picks in exchange for Leonard, recognized as the best two-way player in the NBA.
The Boston Celtics, Cavaliers, Philadelphia 76ers and Los Angeles Clippers have also made offers to the Spurs for Leonard, who will most likely tell those organizations he’ll only be a one-year rental before signing with Los Angeles in 2019.
Many around the league believe if the Lakers are able to acquire Leonard, they would clinch a free agent commitment from James.
However, Cleveland.com reported Leonard landing in LA would not impact James’ decision.