Leonard has made it clear he intends to sign with the Lakers, and the way things have unfolded has reduced their urgency to trade for him now.

The Lakers would have had to acquire Leonard via trade to fit him in at the max had they signed two max free agents (that is, James and George) to multiyear contracts. Dealing for Leonard at this point also was imperative if it was necessary to land James. With those scenarios seemingly off the table, the Lakers can afford to be more patient.

There’s still a downside to waiting on Kawhi, of course — that being the possibility that he gets traded to a new team and decides to re-sign there, just as George did in Oklahoma City. There’s value in the certainty of having Leonard in hand now, but that must be weighed against the players and picks the Lakers would have to give up to acquire him. I’d probably rather take my chances, particularly with the Lakers unlikely to win a championship this season even if they dealt for Leonard.

This model projects the Lakers to have an offensive rating 4.0 points better per 100 possessions than league average — identical to last year’s Cleveland Cavaliers. Meanwhile, unlike the Cavaliers during the regular season, the Lakers project to have an average defense.

And he’d go, ‘I got that in my back pocket,’ Guidry said. Because he was such a great leadoff hitter. He’d bunt, base hit, walk. But then in two pitches, he’d be on second.

And now get ready for the real kicker. Gilbert recently sat down with ESPN for a new digital series for FiveThirtyEight, Contracts, debuting later this summer. He said that Bonilla actually has another deferred deal with the Mets that makes another $12.5 million. It was part of his first deal with the team that ran from 1992 to 1996. The $29 million deal made Bonilla the highest-salaried player in baseball at the time. Part of the deal was to defer some money, which resulted in Bonilla getting $500,000 a year from 2004 through 2023. The Mets shipped Bonilla to the Orioles for the last season and a half of that deal, so they split the fare with Baltimore.How LeBron and the Lakers can become title contenders

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