NBA TRADE NEWS
Lakers missed Leonard
The Los Angeles Lakers may have missed their chance to get Kawhi Leonard and they should have traded for him this summer.
That’s according to American sports reporter Ryen Russillo, who believes the Paul George situation should have taught the Lakers a lesson.
George looked certain to join the Lakers in the 2018 free agency window 12 months ago, but stunned a lot of people by opting to re-sign with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The move has drawn some similarities with Leonard’s move to the Toronto Raptors this year, 12 months before he is set to become a free agent.
The Lakers refused to meet the high demands from the San Antonio Spurs for a trade this summer, with reports suggesting they are confident they can get him for free in 2019.
However, Russillo suggests the Lakers should think twice about taking a chance on whether or not Leonard will sign for them as a free agent.
“I think it’s just one of those deals where, on paper, it makes a lot of sense to be greedy and say ‘whatever, we’ll get him for free or get him for less’,” he said on The Ringer podcast.
“But it just happened to you.
“That whole approach of ‘we’ll get him for free’… Paul George was partly responsible for this because he’s the one who told everybody two years ago when this whole odyssey started when he was with the Pacers that ‘hey, I’m going to the Lakers’ and then he doesn’t…
“It just happened to you so if you could have had a piece that grabs a top-five player like Kawhi, who is still very young and awesome, I’m of the belief of instead of being cute about it, just give me the guy.”
Gordon Hayward could have joined the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2014 had LeBron James not gone back.
Former Cavaliers general manager David Griffin was on Cleveland sports radio yesterday speaking about how Kyrie Irving had a “commitment from Hayward” but the deal was squashed upon James returning.
Hayward was a restricted free agent at the time so the Utah Jazz would have been able to match any offer sheet presented to the forward.
But that deal could have resulted in a every different NBA today.
James has since left Cleveland to join the Lakers while Hayward signed with the Boston Celtics in 2017 to team up with Irving.