LeBron James: Wait, he didn’t text Kevin Durant with tempting offer?

LeBron James: Wait, he didn’t text Kevin Durant with tempting offer?

LeBron James: Wait, he didn’t text Kevin Durant with tempting offer?

Leonard and James have been mentioned together in umpteen recent reports, with the latter mulling a return to free agency and a possible move from Cleveland to the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Lakers are motivated to make a deal for Leonard on several fronts, including the potential boost it would give them in luring James to Los Angeles. The Lakers aren't almost as an attractive destination without either Leonard or Paul George, who is expected to sign with either L.A. or the Oklahoma City Thunder as a free agent.

The Spurs are wary about sending Leonard to a potential rival superteam, preferring instead to keep him or trade him to the Eastern Conference, according to USA Today.

So teams like Boston, Cleveland, Philadelphia and the Los Angeles Clippers are trying to figure out how much to offer San Antonio in a trade for Leonard without knowing what their chances of re-signing him are next offseason. National Basketball Association free agency is almost upon us, and already it appears to be a game of musical chairs with nobody willing to be the one left standing up.

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Meanwhile, in the world of verified information, Vardon has reported that James will not exercise his $35.6 million option on his contract for 2018-19 and will become an unrestricted free agent on Sunday.

On the flip side, the Celtics are rumored to be dipping their toe into the water on trade talks for Leonard. George (28.4 percent) and LeBron James (31.4 percent) both had higher usage rates than Leonard (27 percent) over the last four seasons. ESPN reports that San Antonio is "most intrigued" with Boston's assets.

The question now is whether the Lakers even have enough to convince the San Antonio Spurs to send Leonard there. Although he expressed an interest in signing an extension with the Spurs a summer ago, it's impossible to predict what Irving will do, as he has also mentioned the idea of joining the New York Knicks in 2019. Like Paul George, who the Sixers are reportedly also interested in pursuing (see story), it's not hard to imagine Leonard co-existing with Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid.

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