LeBron James free agency rumor: Potential top free agent 'hesitant' to be first NBA star to join Lakers

What LeBron James does is the biggest question in free agency this summer. Not only is he the best player in the league, making whichever team he joins an immediate contender, but his choice will have a big impact on what other teams and players do. 

Unfortunately for some teams, it appears that LeBron is not eager to make the first move. 

According to a report from ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, LeBron would prefer not to be the first star to join the Los Angeles Lakers -- one of the teams at the forefront of his search. This is putting pressure on the Lakers to acquire another star. Via ESPN:

As LeBron James remains hesitant to be the first superstar to decide on the Los Angeles Lakers in free agency, pressure is mounting for the Lakers front office to execute a trade with the San Antonio Spurs to acquire disgruntled All-NBA forward Kawhi Leonard, league sources told ESPN.

There's a race to secure Leonard before James is faced with deciding whether to become a free agent on Friday, especially with concern that Oklahoma City's Paul George is no longer assured of signing with the Lakers, league sources said.

Another preference by James that could impact free agency, league sources said, is that he wants to make a decision quickly in July free agency.

On the one hand, this is understandable, because at this point in his career, LeBron wants as good of a chance as possible to win a championship. And while he alone would make the Lakers a very good team, it likely wouldn't be enough to challenge the Warriors. Along with Kawhi Leonard or Paul George, however, things change in that regard. 

Still, you would have to imagine that should LeBron indicate that he's joining the Lakers, it would make it more likely that someone like George would come aboard. As for acquiring Leonard, there's not much the Lakers can do that they probably haven't been doing. If the Spurs don't want their offers, they'll just have to wait until 2019 when Leonard is a free agent. 

NBA Writer

Jack Maloney lives and writes in Milwaukee, where, like the Bucks, he is trying to own the future. Full Bio

Our Latest Stories