The Celtics were persistent in their pursuit of Kawhi Leonard last season. That continued through the offseason until the Spurs sent the superstar to the Celtics’ division rival, the Raptors.
While the Celtics refused to include any of the team’s starting five in the deal, Danny Ainge was willing to part with several of the team’s prized draft picks.
According to ESPN’s Zach Lowe, the Celtics offered “most” of their valuable picks, including a top-one protected pick from the Kings or Sixers. The Celtics receive the more favorable pick between the two teams, as long as it is not the first overall selection.
Talking with fellow ESPN writer Michael C. Wright, Lowe noted the Spurs rejected the Celtics’ slew of picks. The Celtics could have up to four first-round picks in the 2019 NBA draft, receiving the Grizzlies first-round selection if between nine and 30 overall, the Clippers’ first-round pick if the team makes the playoffs, and the Celtics own first-round pick. According to Lowe, all of these picks were on the table in a potential deal as well.
Acquiring Leonard might have made the Celtics the favorite to capture the Larry O’Brien championship trophy, as the swingman is one of the league’s elite when healthy. Ainge was unwilling to part with his stars and promising young talent, committed to the group’s potential. Adding Leonard would have given the Celtics arguably the league’s deepest and most-talented roster.
Full article @ Report: Celtics offered slew of high draft picks for Kawhi Leonard
Source: GreenStreet Blog