Cavaliers Behaving As Though They Expect LeBron James To Leave

Kawhi Leonard is still angry with the Spurs over their treatment of his injury

But in his report, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski added that the Lakers "did not have a good initial conversation" with the Spurs about a potential deal.

The Lakers hoped to lure James and George in free agency, which would give them more leverage in Leonard trade talks - or simply for the ability to wait until next year to sign Leonard. According to reports, multiple Cavs members believe LeBron is staying with the team. However, there appear to be some hints that he may have already made a decision, based on his reported method of delivering that news.

On a recent Yahoo Sports NBA Podcast, Shams Charania said that the Lakers could offer Demarcus Cousins a one or two year deal this summer if all other big name options fail. George ironically was in a similar position as Leonard - entering the final year of his contract and openly telling teams his preference was to be traded to the Lakers. That could drive up the price for Leonard, an unusual scenario for a player so close to free agency (and coming off an injury that cost him 73 games last season). The agent reasoned that Spurs coach Gregg Popovich only wants to compete for championships, and keeping Leonard helps him accomplish that, regardless of Leonard's wishes.

The Lakers would love to bring Leonard in this summer, and are feeling some pressure to do so before July 1, according to ESPN.

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The Spurs are on the clock, too.

Citing league sources, ESPN described James as "hesitant" to commit to Los Angeles before it can land another elite player, and the urgency to acquire Leonard has increased with speculation that George may choose to eschew his own opt-out clause and remain with the Thunder for another season. That could mean that the Lakers may only be desperate for a little while longer.

"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.

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