LeBron Lists Reasons Why He Didn't Demand the Lakers Trade for Kawhi Leonard

Shortly after 5pm on July 1, LeBron James (through his agency) announced that he was going to sign with the Lakers.

Most people assumed that another superstar would be joining him in Los Angeles.

But Paul George chose to stay in OKC, and Kawhi Leonard was traded to Toronto.

On Monday night, ESPN's Rachel Nichols asked LeBron why he didn't essentially demand for the Lakers to do whatever necessary to acquire Kawhi.

"Because I love the young guys that they have, and I'm not trying to force my hand in no way, shape or form," LeBron said during a sitdown conversation with Nichols at his brand new I Promise School in Akron, Ohio. "I believe Rob (Pelinka) and Magic (Johnson) and Jeanie (Buss) have done an unbelievable job of reshaping what the organization should be in the last few years -- keeping Dr. Buss' dreams and what he was all about, to keep that going.

"I feel like they know what's best for the team, and I wanted to be a piece to continue that motion of being back to a championship franchise where they should be."

The Lakers should get the opportunity to pursue Kawhi next summer in free agency.

The 2014 NBA Finals MVP will most assuredly decline his $21.3 million player option and sign a multi-year deal with the team of his choosing.

And if the Lakers don't get Kawhi, there are several other big-name players slated for unrestricted free agency...

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller

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