The Cleveland Cavaliers seem to have their work cut out for them if they plan on re-signing LeBron James.
James is expected to opt out of his current contract with the Cavs and become a free agent this summer. With a mediocre supporting cast and an unfavorable salary cap situation, Cleveland will have to think outside the box in terms of convincing the star forward to stay with his hometown team.
Enter: Kawhi Leonard.
News broke Friday that Leonard reportedly wants to move on from the San Antonio Spurs. Although there likely will be stiff competition to make a deal for Leonard, the Cavs reportedly will be one of the teams in the mix.
“The Cavs are one of several teams making calls to San Antonio about Kawhi Leonard,” Cleveland.com’s Terry Pluto writes. “It’s hard to see how they can work a deal for Leonard, who has only one year left on his contract.”
As Pluto notes, San Antonio surely will be looking for a massive return in a trade for Leonard, making a potential blockbuster tough to iron out. With this in mind, Cleveland expectedly would be willing to part with one of its top assets outside of James.
“Kevin Love has a $24 million deal for 2018-19 and a $25 million player option for 2019-20,” Pluto writes. “That could make him attractive in a trade. But I’m not sure a Leonard/Love deal would have much interest to the Spurs, who would want multiple assets.”
The only leg up the Cavs might have is the fact they play in the Eastern Conference, as the Spurs likely would rather not trade Leonard to a team in the West. Still, when it comes to putting together a reasonable package, Cleveland just doesn’t have the assets.
Thumbnail photo via Soobum Im/USA TODAY Sports