Kawhi Leonard has already been the talk of the NBA offseason. His situation with the San Antonio Spurs has been well-known throughout the league since last year when he was irate with Gregg Popovich and Tony Parker for making public comments about his injury situation. Leonard felt like the team was trying to rush him back from his injury before his body was ready to make the return.
From that moment on, Leonard has made it clear that he would like to be traded by the Spurs. His preferred destination is known to be the Los Angeles Lakers, but San Antonio has yet to show any interest in trading him to a Western Conference team.
Bleacher Report took a look at potential trade destinations and packages for Leonard following the 2018 NBA Draft. One team in the Eastern Conference that could easily make a deal for Leonard is the Boston Celtics. The article mentioned an intriguing potential trade package for Leonard that Danny Ainge could give up.
Boston would receive Leonard from the Spurs, while San Antonio would be getting Jaylen Brown, Terry Rozier, Marcus Morris, and 2019 first-round picks from both the Sacramento Kings and Memphis Grizzlies in the deal.
Looking at it from Boston’s standpoint, they would be adding another star while keeping their “Big Three.” Jayson Tatum, Kyrie Irving, and Al Horford would not be going anywhere. They would lose a lot of depth with this kind of deal, but adding Leonard’s defensive prowess and ability to score the ball would make their star power jump to a whole new level.
Kawhi Leonard to the:
⚪️ LA Lakers
⚪️ Philadelphia 76ers
⚪️ Boston Celtics
⚪️ Cleveland Cavaliers
⚪️ LA Clippers
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) June 25, 2018
As for San Antonio, this kind of trade would be ideal if they were forced to trade Leonard. Popovich would be getting two young studs in Brown and Rozier, while Morris is a capable role player. Adding the two picks that the article includes in the trade package would be a huge positive for the Spurs as well.
There is no question that Boston could make a deal for Leonard this offseason, but the real debate is whether or not they should. Boston was able to make it to the Eastern Conference Finals without both Gordon Hayward and Irving. Keeping the core together and adding those stars back to the roster might be enough to get the Celtics past LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, assuming he doesn’t leave in free agency.
All of that being said, it will be intriguing to see which teams are the most aggressive in pursuing Leonard this offseason. He has been connected to quite a few different teams, but the Celtics are one of the teams with the most pieces to move.
Expect to hear the Celtics continue to be mentioned as a potential landing spot for Leonard moving forward. The price is going to be steep, but Leonard might be exactly what Boston needs to win yet another title.