Unless you live in a cave under a rock with ear plugs permanently inserted you have heard by now that LeBron James signed with the Los Angeles Lakers. His move further enhances the power in the Western Conference and while the fans in the state of California have now set themselves up for an outstanding rivalry between the Lakers and the Golden State Warriors the fans in Philadelphia are now wondering what is next for the Philadelphia 76ers organization.
While it was always a long shot for LeBron to come to Philadelphia fans across the City of Brotherly Love held onto some glimpses of hope. For months now, the 76ers front office flirted with the idea of having the best player on the planet on their roster. As the hearts of 76ers fans were shattered with the breaking news Sunday night that LeBron will call Los Angeles home for the next few years their attention was diverted to plan B or plan K for that matter.
Kawhi Leonard is still being shopped by the San Antonio Spurs and the 76ers are one of the main suitors left with enough assets and cap space to acquire him. However, the front office should hold off trading for Leonard for a variety of reasons.
One of the major reasons a trade should not happen is the fact Kawhi is only signed until the end of the 2018-2019 season. The Spurs have reportedly set the price for Kawhi so high that a franchise would severely damage their future just to acquire him. Sure the 76ers have the assets to spare but that doesn’t mean they should just trade everything away in the hope of Kawhi signing a long term deal. If he doesn’t agree to at least three more years wearing the 76ers uniform then they should not bring him on board. Sure Oklahoma City did this when they traded for Paul George last summer and got lucky when he decided to sign long term it seems as though Kawhi’s heart is destined for Los Angeles.
Another huge reason for the 76ers not to trade is they can save the cap space for next year’s free agent class. As teams always strive to look into the future the 76ers are well aware that the free agent class looks strong for 2019. Kyrie Irving, Klay Thompson, and the aforementioned Kawhi Leonard currently lead the free agent class as teams already are shredding cap space in anticipation for the summer of 2019. The Philadelphia 76ers would be wise to follow suit.
Even if the 76ers do trade for Kawhi Leonard, that is still not going to be enough to compete with the stacked Golden State Warriors. The 76ers would be wise to save for the future and keep all the valuable assets in their back pocket in order to compete long term. The silver lining in all of this is the fact that Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons are still young, still signed and still look to be two future all stars in the league. As super teams are being built around this league the Philadelphia 76ers might have one in the making. They just have to continue to stay healthy and develop. The sky is the limit for this franchise but they have to remain smart with their assets.
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