L.A. Notes: Leonard, James, Rondo, Rivers

The Spurs continue to seek a high price from the Lakers in exchange for Kawhi Leonard, salary cap expert Larry Coon said in an appearance today on Spectrum SportsNet (Twitter link). Sources tell Coon that San Antonio is asking for Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, Kyle Kuzma, two first-rounders and the right to swap two other draft choices. “They’re just saying give us everything,” Coon said.

Coon also outlined the Lakers’ remaining cap situation, noting that the signing of Lance Stephenson with the mid-level exception will probably be the final move in free agency after all other cap space is used up.

There’s more news from Los Angeles:

  • LeBron James‘ decision to join the Lakers may give Leonard more incentive to become a Clipper, Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports suggested in an appearance on Colin Cowherd’s radio show (Twitter link).
  • The Lakers are turning their attention to next summer for their next big free agent move, according to Sean Deveney of The Sporting News. The organization’s emphasis on one-year deals helps explain the odd collection of moves that have come down since James committed to L.A. Sunday night. The Lakers re-signed Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, then reached agreements with Stephenson, JaVale McGee and Rajon Rondo, all on one-year contracts. The team expects to have about $76MM in guaranteed money next summer, possibly less if Luol Deng is waived and stretched, leaving enough to offer another max deal.
  • Rondo, whom Deveney states has wanted to join the Lakers since 2015, could take the starting point guard job away from Lonzo Ball, writes Sam Amick of USA Today. A source tells Amick that the L.A. front office has promised Rondo the chance to compete for a starting spot.
  • During an impromptu interview with TMZ, Doc Rivers explained the decision to trade his son, Austin Rivers, to the Wizards. The Clippers coach called it “the right thing for all of us” and predicts that Austin will excel in Washington.
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43 thoughts on “L.A. Notes: Leonard, James, Rondo, Rivers

        • Bryzzo2016

          Right, other than that broke jumper, Lonzo is not the problem. His dad is the problem. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s moved before they go to camp. Can’t imagine LeBron wants to be around this soap opera side show at this stage in his career. I’m not only predicting he gets traded, but I predict he will be traded to Orlando.

          • Djones246890

            True. And if there’s one thing history has told us, it’s this…..whatever LeBron wants, LeBron gets. Unfortunately, for Mr. Ball, there’s a new sheriff in town.

    • gomerhodge71

      LaVar won’t allow him to be traded. If a deal involving Ball is made, look for him to sit out or demand another deal be struck.

  1. imindless

    I think lakers are trying to push lonzo to develop faster with competition and someone riding him. Sadly i think this may backfire this band of cast offs with personalities may resemble something similiar abit less skilled than the cavs 2017/2018 before the deadline. Id be suprised if this works out favorably for the lakers. I do believe they will have close to 50 million in cap space next year if they renounce all free agents they just signed this year and either trade stretch deng. They could probably get 2 additional stars abit taking paycuts or one more max and a few mid level players to add to there youth.

  2. Dionis

    Leonard should go to the Clippers, he would be in LA and they’ve got some good pieces in case he does get moved. My thinking is they’ll likely offer Tobias,Gallinari, and plethora of draft picks for Kawhi. Imagine Beverley,Avery,Leonard,Harrell, and Gortat with Lou off the bench, that’s pretty good and could make for a top 10 defense in the league.

  3. Kenleyfornia74

    The rumor the Lakers passed up a similar contract for Boogie has to be false. Theres no chance they would pass him up for Lance Stephenson

    • moazetongue

      Never know for sure. Magic over at James’ house for hours might have had something to do with it along with wanting to get Leonard and not keeping an eye on other options. idk. Just speculating.

    • At first Boogie wanted Max. no response.

      Then he wanted 15 mil. Again no takers

      Then he started calling teams about the mid-level exception.

      Called the Lakers, they said Hold on we’re working on something.

      He called the Celtics they said okay let us think for a bit.

      Lastly, he called The Warriors and they said yes immediately..let’s do it right now.


  4. DarkGhost

    I can’t believe the spurs are asking for all that with a straight face, that just ridiculous to ask for with a team that has little to no leverage

    • Djones246890

      My guess is it’s them just trolling/taking a dig at a conference rival. I don’t think anyone thinks the Lakers would be dumb enough to take that trade, but hey, you never know. That’s why you propose it. Pretty sure Popovich has said he doesn’t want Leonard in a Lakers jersey.

    • padam

      Spurs have some leverage. Here’s why…

      LBJ is 33 and on the other side of the fence of his career. If the Lakers want to take advantage of his best remaining years, now’s the time to do it. Leonard has said if he’s not dealt, he will sit out the season. As per Article XI, Section 3 of the CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement), if Leonard doesn’t play for longer than 30 days, he remains a Spur and would not become a free agent. The strategy of waiting for Leonard to become a free agent becomes moot.

  5. formerlyz

    All of thisnobvipusly speculated on previously…

    Rondo, KCP, Ingram, LeBron, Lopez. Kuzma, Hart, Lance, Javale, Ball off the bench. Add a depth piece or 2, possibly someone like Amir Johnson, and the 2 shooters they drafted pretty much round out the roster, and that looks pretty good assuming health. LeBron makes them a contender by himself. They can also potentially make additions during the season, and they’re set up for next year

    • FromTheCheapSeats

      Looks pretty good? That squad might not be better than Cleveland last year, and is nowhere near as good as Cleveland was form 2014-2017.

      This is a train wreck. Before Lebron signed, the best thing about that roster was the cheap young players. Now the strategy is to wait until 2019? Awesome. Lebron will be 35, and all those young guys will be another year closer to coming off their rookie deals.

      And what, exactly, was the thought process with Julius Randle? “We need that space to sign Rondo.”? L.A. just let a 23 year old double-double machine walk so they could bring in a 32 year old that’s on his sixth team in five years.

      • formerlyz

        Honestly, I think they were originally going to use it on Cousins in a 1+1 deal, but maybe not. Maybe they try to absorb someone in a trade with the cap space. They can still create more room by stretching Deng

      • Pitches Love Velocity

        To answer your question.

        Ingram plays the PF, Lebron plays SF, their 1st round pick plays the C, Pope plays SG, Ball PG. Randle was redundant having Ingram and Kuzma who can play the 4…….and have a better outside shot than Randle does. Also, 16 and 8 isnt a double double……….

        Stephenson, Rondo, Kuzma, Hart, Zubac, is actually a lot better second unit than what Cleveland had last year.

        Look, if you dont understand stuff its fine. But at least be aware of stuff before you comment.

        • Pitches Love Velocity

          Today’s NBA is built on versatility- see Hayward Tatum Brown in Boston- and Ingram, Kuzma, Hart have more versatility on the floor than Randle does.

          • CubsRebsSaints

            Yeah but they could have at least gotten a pick for future trade capital at least!

  6. all in ad

    Fakers should trade them all for KL. you can only play 5…LBJ,KL,wagner, rondo,KCP….lets roll. Tragic is a blowhard. 1m question for the ages…..you pay McGee 4.5 but won’t pay boogie 5? AYFKM? Rondo gets 9….that’s what Randle signed for…..their best player last year! Quote of the week: no other GM in the league can figure out what the Fakers are doing! 3 ring Ball circus!

    • CubsRebsSaints

      If they hadn’t signed McGee GSW may of resigned him and Boogie could’ve come to LAL! That is the questionable one. And Stephenson. He should have only gotten veterans minimum

    • Djones246890

      Magic Johnson has always been a quick-talking, smooth-operating, cheap used car salesman. I genuinely don’t think he has a clue what he’s doing, but “Show Time!!!!”

    • Chris

      This is all so wrong in every single way. Number one McGee signed a MINIMUM deal. His contract is negligible and he’s excellent depth (ask the Warriors). Obviously Randle felt disrespected and took the Pelicans offer because he hardly shopped around for a deal after the Lakers renounced him. And yes I would’ve have loved Boogie on the squad. Who wouldn’t? But the Lakers compromised essentially none of their cap space next year, and have a playoff team this season. Why should they be mad.

    • Kriss Cain

      No MGee just got 2.5M only. Randle wants longer tenure but Lakers need the flexibility for 2019. If he wants to be a Laker he should have signed his QO and played with LBJ but instead he wants money bro.

    • Stizzo24

      You don’t pay boogie because he won’t play until after the all star break if he even plays at all this season. Lakers can afford to pay another player to not play. Randle asked to be released because he wasn’t going to start and didn’t like his roll. Rondo could signify they are trying to trade lonzo, even if not the last 3 stops he’s made players rave about him as a player coach who helps the young guys. Lonzo could have a worse mentor to push him. They have depth right now which is huge in the league and a collection of talent that can switch alot on defense. Rondo, stephensen and McGee are all dogs who go to battle for their team and don’t back down from anyone. If the young players -who have been putting in work- take the next step this season they can be a pretty good team. Lbj will keep doing his thing, they have good young talent and good veterans, alot of length, not the best shooters but can keep a d honest and a few playmakers now with lbj, rondo, Stephenson to go with Ingram and ball.

  7. dust44

    People saying that the group around LeBron right now in LA aren’t as good as what he left are not basketball people apparently. Rondo is better then Hill/IT, Zo is better then Clarkson, KCP is better then JR, Kuzma is better then Green, I can keep going. But u c where I’m headed. The only guy on the Cavs that is better then the rest of LAs roster is Love and he can’t play D or stay healthy. I live in Ohio. Watched a ton of Cavs games. That roster was not athletic and old. The Lakers r young athletic and have defenders. Then u had grit with Rondo and Stevenson. The only thing they r really missing is more shooters. But, they have more right now then the Cavs did.

    Plus let’s b honest. No1 is beating the Ws. Bron is thinking y live in Cleveland in the cold and get silver. When I can live in LA. Enjoy his last 7-8 years in the warm weather and get Bronze and possibly get one or two more once the Ws roster starts getting broken up. Because eventually it will happen. Klay and Durant I could c both leaving if they win the again next year.

    • Sheldon Bowen

      I agree Lakers are better than the Cavs but they are in the west, go all in and get Leonard. A bunch of guys will come cheap and use ball to trade Deng, get melo and the banana boat, you’re the Lakers go big or go home.

      • Chris

        What guys are left worth trading all of your good players under 25? What if you trade for Kawhi and it doesn’t work out? Then you’ve got nothing but an aging LeBron

    • Scott

      They might be better than the ’17-’18 Cavs, but not by a lot. Put last years Cavs team in the West and I’m not sure they make the playoffs.

  8. H.Henderson

    I’m loving how the Spurs are adamant about not wanting to help the Lakers create a superteam.

    • Djones246890

      It’s just smart basketball. Why strength anothe ron of your conference rivals?? Makes no sense. I mean, the only way I would even entertain it is….”Ok, you want Kawhi? Well, then that’s gonna cost you 1st round picks until your grandkids are old and grey.”

  9. Agree San Antonio can only be a bigger mess than we thought if they truly think can get everything from the Lakers… Kawhi at this point in his career is not worth a 1/3 of what they are asking. Also I have noticed no one is saying that why on earth would any of those young Lakers would wanna play ever in San Antonio, you going from LA to San Antonio & from the LAKERS to the Spurs, SMH, I would truly feel sorry for them, real hard done, surely no one can do that to them, let’em be happy in LA, please.

  10. greg1

    For those complaining about not getting Boogie, the guy is out until January, and may not play before the playoffs or at all next season. GSW takes the risk because if he doesn’t play, no harm, no foul, they’re the best team in basketball anyway. He made little to no sense for almost every other team in the L because of that.

    The thing that drove LBJ nuts in Cleveland was not having “bulldogs” who played ragged defense and were smart enough to make the right play at the right time. Rondo is one of, if not the smartest player in the L, and you know that you get hustle and D out of Lance and McGee.

    I’m not saying this team is a finals contender, but these moves won’t be as puzzling to most when the team wins near 50 games and goes a couple of rounds in the playoffs, all while keeping the flexibility to make a big splash again next year.

    • Scott

      Unless they get 50 wins, they’re not guaranteed to make the playoffs. T-wolves won 47 games last year and were an 8 seed.

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