The Cleveland Cavaliers may lose LeBron James this off-season but they aren’t going to go down without a fight. They have attempted to please King James by trying to acquire Kawhi Leonard from the San Antonio Spurs. Will they be able to trade for Leonard and will that be enough to keep James from leaving?
Cleveland has made calls to the San Antonio Spurs about Leonard but I don’t know if it will be enough. Cleveland doesn’t have much to give them to tempt the Spurs to make a trade happen. The only real trade offer the Cavs can make is a package involving Kevin Love and a few other pieces for Leonard. If the Spurs ask for the Cavalier’s 8th overall pick as well, they should decline right away.
If the Cavs somehow do acquire Leonard and retain James, they still may not have a super-team. They would still have a depleted roster and would lose to the Golden State Warriors once again. Trading for Leonard is going to hurt the Cavs because they need to rebuild and refill their roster with young talent. But Cleveland isn’t known for developing young talent.
On the other hand, I can’t see the Spurs making a trade with Cleveland. Cleveland don’t have enough pieces to give to San Antonio. Kevin Love is a weird piece because is he still considered a superstar or is his value lower than it was a year ago? The fact that Love is a power forward may hurt his value because the Spurs don’t need another power forward. Cleveland may have the least to offer for Leonard and that may be the best thing to happen to them.
Trying to convince LeBron James to stay is going to be almost impossible. James just got swept in the NBA Finals. That isn’t something he will forget anytime soon. The Cavaliers will be the ones that he will blame for his sweep. James did his part and put up great numbers in the Finals. Everyone else on the team didn’t step up.
Why would James stay when he can go anywhere and form a new super-team? Almost any team will sign James and the Cavs are outmatched by most of the NBA. Getting Leonard would increase their chances but not by much. James will want two superstars on his team and the Cavs cannot offer that.
If the Cavaliers can somehow acquire another superstar player, they may have a chance to retain James. It will all come down to whether the team the Cavs build will be able to dethrone the Warriors. If James doesn't think it's possible, he will take his talents anywhere but to Cleveland.