George has sounded willing to return to OKC in recent days, which would make the Lakers a less attractive destination for James if he decides to opt out of his deal with the Cavaliers.
Lakers president Magic Johnson said Monday he would step down if the team fails to land big-name free agents over the next two offseasons. If he’s serious about his employment with the team, swinging a deal for Leonard would make him a man of his word. However, he needs the Spurs, who reportedly don’t want to trade Leonard within the Western Conference, to play ball.
The longer Kawhi Leonard goes without being traded out of San Antonio the more it looks like the Spurs are holding their star player hostage.
Leonard reportedly is still insisting the team trade him, while the Spurs are equally headstrong about keeping him in uniform at least until the 2019 trade deadline, ESPN reported Tuesday, citing unidentified league sources.
According to a separate ESPN report, the Lakers are feeling increased pressure to make a deal for Leonard happen as Paul George and LeBron James have progressively murky futures ahead of free agency, which begins Sunday.
The Rockets guard landed the prestigious award Monday after averaging 30.4 points, 8.8 assists and 5.4 rebounds in 2017-18, playing an integral role in his side being the number one seed in the Western Conference.
Russell Westbrook was named MVP ahead of the Houston star last year and Harden, 28, was taking nothing for granted despite being expected to land the award for the first time.
The last four years have been like knocking on the door, knocking on the door. Now the moment is finally here. said Harden.
Just every single year you try to come back and be better than you were the year before, and just to be holding that trophy finally, it means a lot. But it doesn’t stop here. We’ve got a long way to go. But it feels good to have it though.
Harden said he did not write an acceptance speech in case it would not be needed.