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LA Lakers Rumors: LeBron James is trying to convince Kawhi Leonard and Jimmy Butler to head to LA

531   //    24 May 2019, 05:49 IST

Both Kawhi Leonard and Jimmy Butler will enter free agency this summer
Both Kawhi Leonard and Jimmy Butler will enter free agency this summer

What's the rumor?

After a disappointing season, the Los Angeles Lakers are trying to sign a big name free agent this summer. And the reports suggest that Jimmy Butler and Kawhi Leonard are two of the names being linked with a move to LA - with LeBron James himself being at the forefront of the recruitment talks.

In case you didn't know...

Butler and Leonard are both established All-Stars, who are well-known for their ability to make an impact at both ends of the court. In particular, Leonard is widely viewed as a future MVP, and the 28-year-old is expected to be the most in-demand free agent in the off-season.

The heart of the matter

During an appearance on 'Pardon the Interruption', ESPN's Brian Windhorst revealed that LeBron James was attempting to convince both players to join the Lakers:

"From what I understand, he (LeBron James) has already begun the recruiting process. I've heard he has had contact with Kawhi Leonard. I've heard he has had contact with Jimmy Butler," Windhorst said.

"There is no tampering enforcement by players... The thing about it is, I don't know if texts and calls and maybe a dinner with LeBron is enough for the Lakers to overcome the hurdles that they're going to have," he added.

At 34, James' window to win is quickly narrowing, and the Lakers are desperate to pair him with another All-Star. As the summer plays out, they may have to settle for a lesser star such as Kemba Walker.

However, it now seems as though they will first do everything in their power to land a superstar such as Leonard. And while the Lakers' chances of completing a deal for Leonard look slim, Butler could be a possibility.

What's next?

The Lakers are focusing on next month's NBA draft. The franchise currently holds the fourth overall pick, although the pick could be used in trade talks.