NBA Rumors: Celtics Tried To Trade For Kawhi Leonard At 2018 Deadline

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We have further proof that Danny Ainge is never satisfied.

The Boston Celtics made a trade proposal to the San Antonio Spurs for Kawhi Leonard ahead of the NBA’s February trade deadline, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Wednesday, citing league sources.

The Spurs, of course, turned the offer down and didn’t make a counter-offer, according to Wojnarowski, who reports the club wasn’t willing to entertain trading Leonard at the time.

The specifics of Boston’s proposal are unclear. Yet it’s notable the Celtics even inquired about Leonard, considering they still had a healthy Kyrie Irving in early February while boasting the best record in the Eastern Conference. We’ve heard plenty of theories about how Leonard could become a Celtic, but now there’s evidence Boston is, in fact, pursuing San Antonio’s star player.

Leonard is eligible to receive a five-year, $219 million “supermax” contract extension from the Spurs this offseason, which is more than any other club can provide. He’s expected to meet soon with head coach Gregg Popovich, per Wojnarowski, and if all goes well, the 26-year-old will be in black and grey for years to come.

But there are lingering doubts after a tumultuous season in which Leonard played just nine games and stayed away from the team during the playoffs. And if San Antonio is unwilling to offer him an extension, he could become available on the trade market.

That could be good news for the C’s, who, according to Wojnarowski, have “the most appealing assets” to sign Leonard: namely talented young assets like Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown and the Sacramento Kings’ 2019 first-round pick.

The Philadelphia 76ers and Los Angeles Lakers also have interest in Leonard should things fall apart in San Antonio, Wojnarowski reported.

Thumbnail photo via Jerome Miron/USA TODAY Sports Images

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