BREAKING NEWS: There are teams in the NBA besides the Los Angeles Lakers that want to add All-Star or superstar-caliber talent to their roster. Shocking, I know.
As heavily as the Lakers have been linked to soon-to-be star free agents like LeBron James and Paul George, there was always going to be competition trying to sign them as well. Also, with Kawhi Leonard’s future with the San Antonio Spurs in jeopardy, the Lakers won’t be the only team interested in trading for him.
According to Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Philadelphia 76ers have a similar offseason strategy as the Lakers. The Sixers want to sign James or George, and they have reportedly expressed interest in making a deal for Leonard. Again, shocking. It’s almost as if adding really good players to your roster increases the chance for success. Who knew?
It’s also fitting that the Sixers would have the same plan as the Lakers, seeing as their fans are obsessed with the young talent on the Lakers’ roster and come out of nowhere to plague our Twitter mentions whenever one of them plays poorly.
Philadelphia can easily create enough cap space for a max contract, though the Lakers can get creative and make enough room for two. Any team with the necessary cap space would be stupid not to try and get in the same room as James or George when free agency opens on July 1. As Pompey notes, trading for Leonard is risky because he can leave in free agency next summer, meaning a team could potentially relinquish assets for a rental player.
The Sixers took a considerable leap this season, vaulting into the playoffs and earning a series victory before losing to the Boston Celtics and their head coach that draws up plays so well that some people would rather have him than a superstar player, apparently.
Philadelphia has a very promising, young core of players that can be a strong selling point to free agents. They could prove to be a tough challenger to the big free agent plans that the Lakers have. July can’t come soon enough.
You can follow this author on Twitter at @garykester.