June 27, 2018, 3:51 pmKawhi LeonardF, San Antonio Spurs
The Lakers are facing "mounting pressure" to trade for Kawhi Leonard before free agency opens.
With growing skepticism about Paul George leaving Oklahoma City, the Lakers need to acquire another high-level player to help attract LeBron James in free agency. It's been said that LeBron won't join a team unless he can team up with All-Star caliber talent and without George or Leonard, the Lakers may not be the destination that people have rumored them to be. That shifts the focus on San Antonio, who reportedly declined to deal with the Lakers earlier in the offseason. If Los Angeles is really feeling the heat they may be compelled to completely overwhelm the Spurs with a trade package including young talent and picks. It's also possible that the Lakers offer the best package either way if Leonard insists on telling other teams he won't re-sign next summer, but rather sign with L.A. in free agency.