By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
The Cleveland Cavaliers were swept in The Finals by the Golden State Warriors. LeBron James had very little help in the Finals.
Even a herculean effort was not enough to defeat the Warriors’ Superteam. In fact, against Golden State over the last two seasons, Cleveland is 1-9.
Yet, despite an uncertain future regarding its star player in LeBron James, who will make a huge decision this summer after opting out of his current deal, the Cavaliers have inquired about Kawhi Leonard with the San Antonio Spurs. While Leonard has not officially informed the team that he would like to be traded, the belief is that Leonard wants to be traded.
The reports on Friday suggested that Leonard would like to play for his hometown teams, the Los Angeles Lakers — his preferred team — or the Los Angeles Clippers. However, according to reports, the Spurs will not trade Leonard to any Western Conference team — and would only move him to an Eastern Conference team.
The Spurs would like to mend their broken relationship with Leonard. However, he feels like San Antonio did not support him during his injuries this past season, where he played in just nine games.
According to Cleveland.com writer Terry Pluto, the Cavaliers have called the Spurs regarding Leonard. While Pluto says a call was made, it is not clear how serious the call was.
It could have been just an attempt to try to convince James to stay. Yet, like Leonard, he is expected to consider the Lakers, Houston Rockets, Cavaliers, Boston Celtics, and the Philadelphia 76ers this summer.
The Cavaliers may have a problem making a deal, as Kevin Love is the player, who would match Leonard’s salary the most. However, the Spurs already have that position filled with LaMarcus Aldridge.
At one time, he was also frustrated with the Spurs, and even wanted out. Yet, San Antonio and Aldridge worked things out, including signing him to a contract extension.
The Cavaliers will also have trouble to making any other package for Leonard, because they are over the cap for next season. Also, they do not have much to offer besides Love.
They have the No. 8 overall pick in this month’s NBA Draft. However, that alone, will not be enough to get Leonard to join the Cavaliers.
If they had any realistic shot to get Leonard, it would likely have to involve a third-team, who has cap space, such as the Atlanta Hawks. Leonard going to Cleveland is definitely going to be a long shot, like it will be a long shot for James to re-sign this summer.
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