Notable veterans would take National Basketball Association minimum if LeBron James goes to Lakers

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The Lakers clearly believe, if they trade for Kawhi Leonard, they can parlay that into signing LeBron James. The Los Angeles Lakers are reportedly attempting to get a deal done for the two-time Defensive Player of the Year to make themselves as attractive a destination for James as possible. Leonard isn't a free agent until next season, but he's reportedly asked for a trade to Los Angeles.

There may not be any clarity as to what team has present the best trade package for Leonard, but that should make it evident that they have competition.

San Antonio has informed teams its preferred target in any Leonard trade is the Celtics' Jayson Tatum, sources say.

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Switzerland also advanced after a 2-2 draw with Costa Rica and will next face Sweden on Tuesday in St. Serbia was eliminated, finishing third in the group behind Switzerland.

If LeBron does not opt in to his contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday, he will become an unrestricted free agent.

While it's fair to note the breakdown in communication between Leonard and the Spurs, an organization that typically avoids these sort of awkward situations, it's not rational to automatically label Leonard bad for team culture. Once again, it leaves the Lakers looking pretty favorable to land at least two stars this summer.

"James has a home in Los Angeles", Vardon wrote, "as do his chief business associates and the allure of playing for a historic franchise like the Lakers appeals to him". With San Antonio believed to be uninterested in Lonzo Ball, the Lakers have three other intriguing young players - Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma and Josh Hart - plus their future first-round picks to include in a deal. So many free agents will be forced to sign for less than they anticipated.

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Even without Leonard, the Lakers are already favored for LeBron (though the chances of acquiring Leonard are baked into the LeBron odds). ESPN's Zach Lowe said Thursday on "The Jump" that "not enough people are considering" that James may, indeed, "come alone" to the Lakers.

The Lakers will be appealing, particularly if they're in win-now mode since players will be able to showcase their game on a big stage.

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