Published: Thu, June 28, 2018
Sport | By Ruben Hill

Kyrie Irving: "The NBA MVP Was Definitely LeBron"

Kyrie Irving:

For all the anticipation of the Los Angeles Lakers making a splash in free agency, they've also been a mainstay in trade rumors, and specifically with relation to San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard.

If James and George were to opt out and join the Lakers, which has the salary-cap space to sign two top-tier free agents, that could potentially afford the team the luxury of waiting a year for Leonard to play out his contract, or at least give it more leverage in talks with San Antonio.

According to a report from ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Ramona Shelburne, and Brian Windhorst, there is mounting pressure for the Los Angeles Lakers to trade for Leonard before free agency starts on July 1. Ainge dealt for five-time All-Star Kyrie Irving just this past summer.

Shortly after James led the Cleveland Cavaliers over his Boston Celtics in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals, Irving shared some kind words about LeBron after James Harden surprisingly earned 86 of 101 first-place votes to capture the NBA MVP award. As for the Celtics, they have contacted San Antonio before, but their conversation did not result to anything meaningful.

Unloading picks is especially risky because George seems to be leaning towards Oklahoma City, and Chris Paul has remained hungry after falling one game short of the 2018 NBA Finals. Butler had two when he was dealt about a week prior to George.

"I was wondering if there was something I could have did better to make him not want to be traded", James told reporters during Cleveland's media day before the season tipped off. He'll get a raise this offseason, and the real interest will come in the length of his new deal. They could include restricted free agent Marcus Smart in a sign-and-trade with Smart's consent, as well.

Buried at the end of ESPN's report is a line that says Leonard is "adamant" that he does not want to step foot in the Spurs locker room again.

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