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Lonzo Ball could be reason the Lakers don't get Kawhi Leonard

Lonzo Ball could be reason the Lakers don't get Kawhi Leonard”

By Friday, James will have to make a decision whether or not to enter free agency.

The San Antonio Spurs are "fully engaged" in trade talks for All-Star small forward Kawhi Leonard, namely with the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

The problem for Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka appears to be that the Spurs are uninterested in some of the current assets the Lakers have to offer. However, Leonard will only reportedly sign a long-term deal with a Los Angeles team, either the Lakers or Clippers.

Kawhi Leonard could leave the San Antonio Spurs - but where is he most likely to go?

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Most of that speculation surrounds the best player in the NBA LeBron James, and he is for sure the number one target on the Lakers wish list.

"Multiple sources said the Lakers and Denver Nuggets are discussing a potential deal that would see Los Angeles take back bad money for a draft pick".

It's a comical situation on social media, but the Spurs still have to decide what to do with Leonard, whether it's a trade or keeping him on the roster; They can do this until February 2019, otherwise there's the risk of losing him in next summer's free-agent period.

"Whenever anyone says anything about another individual or about the quality of another individual, or what they're doing, I think the first thing to look at is the substance and gravitas of the source that speaks", he told ESPN.com in January about LaVar's criticism of Lakers coach Luke Walton.

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But with the possibility of George staying on with the Oklahoma City Thunder, it is paramount that they acquire Leonard as James will not arrive without another superstar. That presumably would include Brandon Ingram, the No. 2 pick in the 2016 draft and the Lakers' most promising young player, plus a combination of future first-round picks and other young talent, such as Lonzo Ball, the second overall pick previous year, Kyle Kuzma and/or Josh Hart. This report comes in the wake of an earlier one on Wednesday that stated that the Lakers and Spurs had "re-engaged" on talks about a potential Leonard trade.

Durant also has an opt-out clause he is expected to exercise, but he would shock the league if he did anything other than sign a lucrative contract to return to Golden State.

But the Spurs are said to have more interest in Brandon Ingram or Kyle Kuzma as opposed to Ball, the second overall pick in the 2017 draft. Once draft picks are signed, they can not be traded for 30 days.

In a testament to the closeness of James' inner-circle, there is essentially no certainty of what he'll do in free agency.

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