Will two of the stars team up?
But the Spurs are prepared to play hardball with the 16-time National Basketball Association champions during negotiations, with general manager RC Buford believed to be demanding a substantial package of assets in return for the superstar. James has homes in both cities, and those who know him seem to believe his family will have a large say in this decision.
So I'm not saying the Sixers should give up on going after LeBron James but they probably have a better chance at getting Kawhi Leonard. Their biggest obstacle is finding another star player to join James.
The Philadelphia 76ers are still hoping to make one or more major splashes this offseason, and they may have plenty of incentive to offer a respectable trade package for Kawhi Leonard. They remain the most likely landing spots for the superstar. But according to ESPN's Ramona Shelburne, Adrian Wojnarowski and Brian Windhorst, the Lakers and Spurs re-engaged in trade talks Wednesday, and the outcome will have massive implications.
George isn't the only free agent the Lakers could target in a pairing with James.
The 27-year-old became disillusioned with the Spurs' treatment of a quadriceps injury that restricted him to just nine appearances last season, deciding earlier this month that his future lies away from San Antonio. After they did not make the trade, George was traded to the Thunder and one year later re-signed with them. However, they aren't willing to include Markelle Fultz, Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons in the conversations. If James does indeed decide to head West, that could make George's decision a lot easier.
The Lakers are pursuing an additional first-round pick on the trade market too, offering to incur a salary dump of contracts to get a pick, league sources said.
Still, the Lakers continue to pester San Antonio about the former NBA Finals MVP.
The race for Leonard is on, and if the Spurs play their hand wisely, an ugly situation could end up with them bringing in a haul of assets to jumpstart a rebuild.
The Spurs are in no rush to make a deal, and don't necessarily have to, preferring to try to fix their relationship with Leonard and potentially reward him with a super-max contract. San Antonio is reportedly seeking young players and draft picks.
Leonard can become a free agent next summer.