The Celtics might not have much competition for Kawhi Leonard if they’re interested in acquiring the star forward this summer.
USA Today’s Sam Amick reports the Spurs would prefer to trade Leonard to an Eastern Conference team, so they would only have to play him twice per year. San Antonio’s primary desire is to repair its fractured relationship with Leonard, who missed all but nine games last season due to a right quad injury.
“Kawhi and his family mean a lot to our organization and to our community,” Spurs general manager R.C. Buford told reporters at the NBA Draft last Thursday, per Bleacher Report. “While none of us would wish we are where we are, we are going to do what we can to build the best relationship we can with him. We will explore all of our options, but the first one would be to keep Kawhi as part of our group.”
Last week, Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich met with Leonard in San Diego. The Lakers’ recent attempts to engage the Spurs in trade conversations with Leonard were immediately shot down, according to ESPN’s Ramona Shelbourne.
The Celtics have been loosely tied to Leonard since the spring, when it became apparent he could be available. They would presumably have the most to offer, 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.
It is possible, however, the Spurs would insist on receiving either Jaylen Brown or Jayson Tatum for Leonard. Lowe writes the Celtics would be “wary” to include Brown and Tatum is untouchable, even if Leonard were to sign an extension.
Full article @ Spurs would reportedly prefer trading Kawhi Leonard to Eastern Conference, opening up door for Celtics
Source: GreenStreet Blog