NBA Rumors: Celtics Could Acquire Kawhi Leonard For Brown, Langford & Draft Picks, ‘Bleacher Report’ Suggests

Kawhi Leonard of the Los Angeles Clippers looks on while wearing his team's Buffalo Braves throwback jersey.
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Thanks in no small part to their acquisition of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George in the summer of 2019, the Los Angeles Clippers became a force to be reckoned with in the Western Conference, albeit one that was 5.5 games behind the No. 1-seeded Los Angeles Lakers when the NBA suspended operations in March. With the Boston Celtics likewise performing well but unable to grab the No. 1 spot in the Eastern Conference, a new report suggested a trade that could benefit the Clippers in the long term and help the Celtics improve their chances of a championship run in the short-term — one that would send Leonard to Boston for a package centered on rising guard/forward Jaylen Brown.

In a list of “blockbuster” trade ideas involving each NBA team’s top player, Bleacher Report prefaced the hypothetical deal by explaining that the Clippers may have to prepare for the possibility that Leonard and/or George might decline their player options and leave Los Angeles in the summer of 2021. The outlet suggested that the Clippers move Leonard in order to cut their potential losses in advance, noting that the Celtics are one team that could “put together an appealing package.”

“The Celtics may be reluctant to trade Brown unless Leonard commits to picking up his player option or re-signing in Boston, but it would be worth the risk.”

Aside from Brown, the Celtics’ suggested package, as pointed out by Bleacher Report, would also include shooting guard Romeo Langford and two first-round picks in the 2020 draft. The publication added that Boston likely won’t lose much by dealing away a little-used rookie and two “mediocre” selections in a draft class that’s largely been seen as weak, as the main benefit would be the upgrade at small forward from Brown to Leonard.

Also mentioned was the “remorse” the Celtics reportedly had over its decision not to trade for Leonard when he was still with the San Antonio Spurs in 2018 offseason. The two-time Defensive Player of the Year, then in the last year of his contract with the Spurs, was traded to the Toronto Raptors that summer, eventually leading them to their first championship in the 2019 Finals before joining the Clippers as a free agent.

Regarding the impact Brown, Langford, and the two 2020 first-rounders may have in Los Angeles if the theoretical trade pushes forward, Bleacher Report wrote that they could all help the Clippers “stay relevant,” with the latter three components of the package helping beef up the team’s bench rotation as prospects for the future.

Leonard isn’t the only superstar whom the Celtics could reportedly target in their efforts to win a title sooner rather than later. As previously reported by The Inquisitr, a recent trade idea from Fansided suggested that Boston could send Brown and Gordon Hayward to the Milwaukee Bucks in exchange for Giannis Antetokounmpo. Like Leonard, the 2019 NBA MVP is also among the players expected to headline the talent-laden free-agent class of 2021.