NBA Trade 2017: Latest on LeBron James, Lakers Rumors, Jimmy Butler to Cavs

LeBron James
LeBron James at ORACLE Arena, Oakland, California, June 12. James is reportedly considering leaving the Cavaliers. Ezra Shaw/Getty

With the NBA Draft upon us, the news and rumors about possible trades between the league’s biggest teams are rife.

Could LeBron James actually leave the Cavaliers for a second time this summer? Would that see Kyrie Irving follow him out of Cleveland? What’s going to happen with Paul George?

All these questions are being asked in the lead-up to the main draft being held on June 22. Here, Newsweek takes a look at the deals confirmed so far and the whispers about what may happen in the trade:

LeBron James

Disappointment in the NBA Finals last week, followed by the departure of Cavs general manager David Griffin, has left James’s future in Cleveland in more doubt than ever. After Cavs chairman Dan Gilbert made the announcement Tuesday, James posted to Twitter: “If no one appreciated you Griff I did, and hopefully all the people of Cleveland!” The fear for Cavs fans now is that James will look to leave the team again, with the Los Angeles Lakers at the top of the list. There has been talk of Lakers planning a super team headed by James and Paul George after getting rid of Timofey Mozgov and Brook Lopez’s contract set to expire.

Kyrie Irving

With James’s future at the Cavaliers uncertain, an option to opt out of his deal after next season, there are concerns that an exodus may take place at Cleveland. Irving, who’s been with the Cavs since 2011 when he was drafted No.1 overall, is high on the list of possibilities to get out early although he is under contract until 2019-20. Joe Cowley, of the Chicago Sun-Times, says Irving has been in talks with former Team USA players. He has been “letting them know that he might be willing to push for a trade, especially with the drama unfolding in Cleveland.” Like James, that includes the unclear future over who will take over as GM with the Cavs next season after Griffin was let go.

Related: What Does Cavs GM Griffin’s Exit Mean For LeBron James?

Paul George

He’s on his way out, but where to? George’s team told the Pacers that the four-time All-Star intended to leave in the summer of 2018 when he becomes a free agent, according to the Associated Press. George has been at Indiana for each of his seven seasons in the NBA and is known as one of the league’s best players with an average of 23.7 points and shot 46 percent last season. The suggestion in the league is that the 27-year-old wants to return to California, where he was born and raised, and that fits in with a move to the Lakers franchise. The prospect of teaming up with James in L.A. is leaving the rest of the NBA world worried—apart from maybe Golden State, of course.

Dwight Howard

A done deal. Howard’s trade from Atlanta Hawks to the Charlotte Hornets was made official on Tuesday night, with Charlotte sending Miles Plumlee and Marco Belinelli and the 41st pick in Thursday's draft to Atlanta for Howard and the 31st pick. Only in July did Howard sign a three-year deal worth $70.5 million with the Hawks where he averaged 13.5 points and 12.7 rebounds per game. According to ESPN, he finished the season unhappy in Atlanta and has now got his move.

Jimmy Butler

 

Butler wants to stay with the Chicago Bulls, to lead the team back to the top of the Eastern Conference, reports say, but the NBA’s biggest teams continue to circle. According to ESPN, the Cavaliers remain interested in Butler but the team has been told that the 27-year-old wants to remain in Chicago.

D’Angelo Russell and Timofey Mozgov

 

Both players are on their way out of Los Angeles and heading to the Brooklyn Nets, according to Yahoo! Sports. This will see the Lakers get center Lopez and the No. 27 pick, according to the report, and it will also allow L.A. to draft in UCLA point guard Lonzo Ball with the No. 2 overall pick. Seeing Mozgov leave the Lakers will also end his $54 million deal that had three years left to run.