Report: Sixers interested in trading for Kawhi Leonard, signing LeBron James

Dane Carbaugh
NBC Sports

The Philadelphia 76ers have been rumored as a landing spot for LeBron James for some time, ever since he was reported scoping out schools for his kids in the area. James denied that report, but the Sixers still appear to be chasing a big star this offseason.

Coach Brett Brown said that his team needs some help to win a championship, and there will be several big name players on the market including James this summer.

Philadelphia has significant cap space — around $30 million — and could likely sign LeBron outright this July. Scenarios there include a below-market 1-year deal that allows the Sixers to go into the luxury tax on LeBron’s second contract, or a deal structured to fit Philly’s cap space this year then balloon in subsequent years — again, likely putting the 76ers above the tax line.

Set all that aside for a moment. According to Philly.com’s Keith Pompey, the Sixers are also interested in trading for disgruntled San Antonio Spurs star Kawhi Leonard. Of course, if that was the direction they took, LeBron would be off the table.

Via Philly.com:

Don’t be surprised if they also try to acquire San Antonio Spurs small forward Kawhi Leonard in a trade. Sources have said the Sixers have expressed interest in the two-time all-star. While he is eligible for a five-year, $219-million “super-max” extension with the Spurs this summer, there are reports that Leonard wants out after staying away from the team for most of the season with a quad injury. He played in only nine games.

Leonard has a great relationship with Sixers coach Brett Brown. However, trading for him would be risky without first getting a guarantee that he’ll agree to a contract extension. Leonard is set to become a free agent on July 1, 2019.

Pompey mentions that his reading of the situation in Philadelphia is that Sixers ownership is going to go hard after LeBron as the top option, but you never know how things are going to turn out in the NBA. Maybe Philly ends up with Paul George?

There’s a lot of talent on the market and the Sixers are going to end up as movers and shakers.

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