With the NBA season finally here, you would think that the summer of 2019 free agency rumors would slow down. That’s not going to happen anytime soon. According to Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer, there are “whispers” around the NBA that Jimmy Butler and Kawhi Leonard don’t want to team with LeBron James.
Both Butler and Leonard can become free agents during the offseason.
Butler is still a member of the Minnesota Timberwolves. He requested a trade three weeks ago, however, and his relationship with the organization appears to be crumbling.
The Lakers likely have enough to be a playoff team in 2018-19, but they need another All-Star to elevate themselves to championship contention in a Western Conference that includes the Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets.
Butler and Leonard are two of the NBA’s best two-way players, and either of them would make the Lakers a true championship threat.
The 29-year-old Butler is a four-time All-Star and four-time All-Defensive Team selection who has averaged 20 or more points per game in each of the past four campaigns. When healthy, Leonard is a top 5 NBA talent. Leonard, an NBA Finals MVP, can spread the floor as well as defend at every position.
There’s also this: when you win on LeBron’s team, LeBron gets all the credit. Another star might think it’s impossible to be viewed as anything more than a supporting actor while playing in James’ shadow.