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With Paul George committing to a return to the Thunder this season, it appears the Los Angeles Lakers have lost out on one of their possible targets supposedly eager to go to LA LA Land. Lebron James may have also lost out on a potential companion to accompany him to Los Angeles. The reality may be that there is less Magic there than many thought.

There is now focus on Eastern Conference supremacy, and that may come down to Philadelphia versus Boston. The 76'ers wasted no time as NBA free agency went into effect last night, immediately showing interest in Jabari Bird.

Boston recently tendered a qualifying offer to Bird on a one-year deal at $77,250. The offer was for a two-way player contract where Jabari would split his time between the Celtics and their G-League affiliate, the Maine Red Claws. Bird played on a similar two-way contract for Boston last season.

Bird is currently a restricted free agent and the Celtics can match any offer made by Philly. Expect the 76'ers to offer a standard, as opposed to two-way, contract, allowing Jabari to play full-time as a member of the 76'ers. Depending on the amount offered by Philly, Boston may in turn offer the same standard contract. Stay tuned for this one.


Now, as always, a look at the Kawhi Leonard situation. One of the most respected NBA analysts, David Aldrich sees a lot of pressure on Philadelphia to move on Leonard and very little pressure on the Celtics to do likewise. Here is David Aldrich's analysis from this morning's NBA TV broadcast:

...more pressure on Philadelphia to do something... I don't think there is any pressure on Boston to do anything, unless they really feel that Kawhi Leonard will win us a Championship... if we get Kawhi Leonard, we can beat Golden State four times. If they believe that, they pull the trigger. I think they like their group... they haven't seen their group together except for six minutes.

So basically, Aldrich stated what so many of our readers have voiced, namely that this is an exceptionally good team that can win a Championship and let's see what a healthy, complete roster can accomplish - no more moves needed. But as I have written repeatedly, Danny Ainge is never satisfied - never complacent. If he can work a deal for Leonard that yields a roster that, as David said, "can beat Golden State four times", he will "pull the trigger".

Follow Tom at @TomLaneHC

Photo via Stuart Cahill/Boston Herald

Tom Lane 7/01/2018 07:39:00 AM Edit
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