Danny Ainge and the Celtics front office seem to be standing their ground in trade talks for Spurs disgruntled star Kawhi Leonard.
It has been reported by Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald that the Celtics “remain far away from landing” the forward.
There seems to be explanation as to why. According to Bulpett, the team is not willing to part with Jayson Tatum, nor Jaylen Brown in a deal for Leonard. It is also unclear if the Kings’ 2019 first-round pick is on the table, as this will apparently hinge on whether the talks advance to a point where the Celtics would be allowed to directly speak with Leonard.
A Western Conference source that is also intrigued by the negotiations told the Herald the Spurs held a brief discussion with the Celtics on Wednesday, but the talks went nowhere, and there is yet to be any indication the Celtics have a realistic chance at this point in time. The conversation was the first contact between teams since before the draft, but even those talks did not result in the Celtics making a proposition.
The two largest factors believed to be stalling trade traction are both Leonard’s health and future plans. Leonard has the option to opt out following the 2018-19 season, and played only nine games this year due to injury. Questions about whether he could play is what caused the strain in the 26-year-old’s relationship with the Spurs, causing him to miss the entirety of the team’s first round playoff series against the Warriors.
A recent Herald story reported the Celtics would need assurance that the All-Star’s quadricep injury is fully healed and that he would be willing to extend his contract once traded. Unlike Leonard’s reported desire to play in Los Angeles, an official updated report on the extent of his quad injury has yet to be seen.
As pointed out by Bulpett, this appears to be looking like the Paul George sweepstakes of last season all over again.
Full article @ Report: Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum remain untouchable in Kawhi Leonard trade talks
Source: GreenStreet Blog