2018 NBA Off-Season Update:  Kawhi Wants Out and LeBron's Short List.

2018 NBA Off-Season Update:  Kawhi Wants Out and LeBron’s Short List

D.S. Williamson : Wednesday,June 27, 2018 6:23, EDT

The NBA off-season is just about to kick into gear. That means players like Marcus Smart, Rajon Rondo, Jusuf Nurkic, and Chris Paul could be playing in different uniforms come late October, early November.

It also means LeBron “The King” James could be out the door in Cleveland.  Before getting into that, it’s important to look into the Kawhi Leonard situation. Kawhi is not a free agent. That makes his situation different than CP3’s, Nurkic’s, Rondo’s, Smart’s, and LeBron’s. Also, thinking about the latest odds to win the 2019 NBA Championship, depending on where they end up, it will affect the lines a lot.

NBA Off-season Update:  Kawhi Wants Out and LeBron’s Short List

Kawhi Wants out of San Antonio

Per multiple reports, Kawhi Leonard wants out of San Antonio. The Spurs can eventually give him the max allowable contract, 5-years and $219 million, but he’s supposedly not concerned with that. He wants to play for the team he wants to play for.

Right now, that team is the Los Angeles Lakers. The Lakers would love to have Kawhi, and Leonard most definitely wants to play there (he’s from L.A.), but the Spurs aren’t going to do it.  The reason? The Lakers are in the Western Conference. San Antonio doesn’t want to trade one of the top players in the NBA to a Western Conference foe.

That means, Kawhi’s destination might be the Philadelphia 76’ers. Philly’s got some pieces to work with. They’re a young team with a lot of talent. Will Philly bite? I don’t think so. Kawhi’s great, but what cost for the 76’ers? Also, the Sixers are in a good position with their young talent.

I think San Antonio tries to fix the situation with Kawhi. I don’t believe he goes anywhere.

LeBron Has Tons of Choices

Where will Lebron James end up by the start of the 2018 season?

LeBron has until June 29 to turn down his $35.6 million player option with the Cavaliers. If LeBron does that, every other NBA team on the planet will want him to play for them. Which teams have the inside track to the great LeBron James?

Los Angeles Lakers – Magic Johnson has already said that if he can’t land some of the bigger free agents this summer, he’ll go ahead and step down. That means Magic has his sights on the biggest fish in the small 2018 NFL Free Agent pond.

Philadelphia 76’ers – The Sixers would love to have LeBron on the same team as Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. I don’t think this happens, though. LeBron loves Cleveland, the city. He most likely will want out of the Eastern Conference so that he at least doesn’t face the Cavaliers in the playoffs.  That means Philly doesn’t get The King’s services.

Houston Rockets – The Houston Rockets could win LeBron’s services if The King opts out of his contract with Cleveland. James Harden has proven that he can play with superstar players, he mustn’t be the main option, while LeBron only cares about winning.