The Celtics have been loosely connected to Kawhi Leonard for months. But now the NBA’s written record, Adrian Wojnarowski, says Boston actually made an attempt to acquire the disgruntled forward.
The Celtics are one of several teams that have made an offer to the Spurs about Leonard, Wojnarowski reports on ESPN. He also names the Cavaliers, Sixers and Clippers as clubs that have formally extended trade proposals. Though the Lakers want to acquire Leonard, who’s a Los Angeles native, the Spurs have reportedly dismissed their overtures so far. But that doesn’t mean the Lakers can’t land the two-time All-Star. If Leonard starts telling teams he’ll only consider signing with the Lakers when he reaches free agency in 2019, the Purple and Gold would presumably be in the driver’s seat.
While Danny Ainge doesn’t need to overhaul his roster, it appears as if the Celtics will once again be at the center of free agency. They were rumored to move up into the top 4 during last week’s NBA Draft, and remain a possible destination for LeBron James.
The Celtics likely have the most to offer for Leonard, given their surplus of draft picks. ESPN’s Zach Lowe speculates Boston could package the Kings’ 2019 first-round pick, provided it’s not the No. 1 overall selection, to a package of Marcus Smart, Terry Rozier, Marcus Morris and Guerschon Yabusele.
The Spurs could ask for either Jaylen Brown or Jayson Tatum, but it’s uncertain the Celtics would be willing to give one of them up. In addition to Leonard’s expiring contract, he missed all but nine games last year with a mysterious quad injury.
Last week, Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich met with Leonard in an effort to repair their relationship. USA Today’s Sam Amick reports the Spurs would prefer to trade Leonard to an Eastern Conference team if they can’t sort their issues out.
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Source: GreenStreet Blog