The Boston Celtics are being mentioned as a potential trade destination for Kawhi Leonard this summer. The San Antonio Spurs superstar has been a constant subject of NBA trade rumors over the past several weeks because of his uncertain relationship with his current team.
The Celtics have made big moves over the past several years, acquiring superstars like Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving. This is one of the reasons why Boston is also being tagged as a potential destination for Leonard. However, Ben Golliver and Andrew Sharp of Sports Illustrated believe that the Leonard-to-Boston trade is unlikely.
The Spurs are expected to demand the inclusion of rookie Jayson Tatum in a deal that would bring Leonard to Boston. However, Golliver said that the Celtics are expected to turn it down, saying that the 26-year-old superstar hurt his trade value this season.
Sharp agreed, and said that the Celtics will not trade Tatum for Leonard. He added that the Celtics will only be willing to move Tatum if it is going to be for New Orleans Pelicans superstar Anthony Davis. Jared Weiss of Celtics Wire reported earlier this year that Boston is reportedly eyeing to strike a deal for Davis when he becomes available on the trade market.
Sharp is convinced that the Celtics would give up Tatum only in a trade for Davis because the superstar would be a good fit to their current roster. Davis would be an obvious upgrade to their current big men Aron Baynes, Greg Monroe, Daniel Theis, Marcus Morris, and Al Horford.
Horford might also be included in a potential trade for Davis, according to Weiss. He said that Horford would make the deal work in terms of salaries. Weiss is also convinced that Boston is an ideal landing spot for Davis because the Celtics are built to compete for the title in the next several years.
The Celtics managed to become one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference this season despite losing Hayward on opening night. He sustained a gruesome ankle injury, but he is expected to be ready for next season. The 28-year-old guard signed a four-year, $127.83 million contract this summer, according to Spotrac.
Irving also went down with a knee injury this season. The All-Star point guard recently underwent procedure where two screws were removed from his patella. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, Irving’s knee “remains structurally sound,” and he is expected to be ready to return in four to five months.