Sixers could trade for Kawhi Leonard, sign LeBron James
In the midst of a rupture between the San Antonio Spurs and star forward Kawhi Leonard, rumors of a potential trade this offseason have run rampant.
Taking part on ESPN’s SportsNation, Brian Windhorst revealed that Leonard’ destination would have a “direct impact” on where LeBron James ends up after this season.
He painted an even more shocking scenario which would include the Philadelphia 76ers not only trading for Kawhi Leonard, but also managing to acquire James in the offseason.
“If the Cavs get knocked out before The Finals, and LeBron has six weeks to think about things and six months to get in touch with Kawhi things could get a little crazy,” said Windhorst.
While Windhorst didn’t expand into the actual working lines of a potential trade, it is possible under the current cap rules due to the Sixers’ immense flexibility, it could prove as a huge venture if they refuse to give any of their key assets in return for Leonard.
As it sits, J.J. Redick is the highest paid player in the roster this season, as he was signed to a one-year, $23 million balloon deal this summer. Next season, it would be Joel Embiid, who will start the first season of his five-year $146.5 million extension.
The Sixers could move Robert Covington for two reasons — he is the second-highest paid player ($10 million) coming into next season and also possesses many of Leonard’s defensive abilities, along with playing the same position.
Where things get complicated is deciding which young asset to package — Ben Simmons, Markelle Fultz, and Dario Saric are all making under $8.5 million next season, and giving up a young player, a rotation player, and a draft pick to compensate for the gap in salary may be too much for the Sixers to do, albeit possible.