It’s no secret that teams will be lining up to try to trade for Kawhi Leonard this summer if the San Antonio Spurs make their superstar forward available.
Will the Boston Celtics be one of them?
It’s a question that’s been bounced around nearly every crevice of the internet since things seemingly started going south between Leonard and the Spurs. And one NBA agent recently floated a trade package to Bleacher Report that he or she believes San Antonio should explore.
“If I’m the Spurs, I trade him to Boston for (Jaylen) Brown, (Terry) Rozier and a first,” the agent said. “Strike when the iron’s hot, with all these teams coming at you.”
The suggestion came as part of a deeper dive by Bleacher Report into the apparent dysfunction involving the Spurs and Leonard, who appeared in just nine games this season with a mysterious quad injury. Leonard is eligible for a five-year, $219 million “super-max” contract extension with the Spurs this summer, but there’s a ton of uncertainty surrounding the 26-year-old’s future.
Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich could attempt to mend fences with Leonard, in which case a “super-max” extension again would seem plausible. If not, and the Spurs decide Leonard isn’t worth such a sizable financial commitment, then a trade might be the answer.
Fortunately for the Spurs, they have some leverage, with Leonard being under contract through the 2018-19 season. They don’t necessarily need to appease his wishes when it comes to shipping him away in a deal.
“If I’m them, I’m trading him to Siberia if that gets me the best return,” the agent told Bleacher Report.
So, would the Celtics offer the best package? A deal centered around Brown, Rozier and a first-round draft pick sure sounds enticing from a Spurs standpoint, especially with how well those two players have performed for Boston this postseason.
The Celtics look like they’re on the cusp of becoming perennial NBA Finals contenders with or without Leonard, though. It’s entirely possible they’ll refrain from messing too much with their current mix, even if it meant adding a legitimate superstar who’s one of the NBA’s best all-around players when healthy.
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