Cavaliers Behaving As Though They Expect LeBron James To Leave

Elena Summers
June 28, 2018

Despite all the claims of a strained relationship and bad blood, it was obvious that Kyrie Irving and LeBron James were still cool once they got in each other's presence and cooled off any talks that were centered around them and why Kyrie wanted to leave Cleveland. 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. Leonard has one more year left on his current deal, which will earn him $21.3 million in 2018-19, and will become an unrestricted free agent at the end of next season.

Cousins has been one of the best, and possibly at times, the league's best big man the past few seasons.

Houston's roster includes one of James' closest friends, point guard Chris Paul, who was a catalyst for the Rockets' postseason run before suffering a hamstring injury against the Warriors in the final minutes of Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals. Meanwhile, Ryan Russillo notes that if Paul George doesn't go to the Lakers, LeBron may just remain with the Cavs. National Basketball Association players, in general, don't have a good track record of coming back from such an injury to continue to play at a high level.

As far as stats are concerned, Harden led all scorers with 30.4 points per game, while LeBron averaged 27.5 points, 9.1 assists and 8.6 rebounds. However, he wasn't really the high fly act he used to be when he earned the nickname "The Human Highlight Film". It's widely believed that James is hesitant to be the first star player to sign with the Lakers while recent reports indicate George might re-sign with the Oklahoma City Thunder.

However, the Lakers likely can't wait until 2019 to acquire both Leonard and James, although that's not out of the question, and they might not even be able to wait until the weekend to ramp up trade negotiations with San Antonio.

Perhaps the Lakers could offer him a two-year deal, with the second year being a team option.

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