It has been no secret that Kawhi Leonard wants out of San Antonio. His absence to the Spurs lineup has arguably been one of the biggest stories of this season. We saw a superstar force a trade last year with Kyrie Irving, so does that mean we’ll see it again?
Based on how the Spurs operate, I would have guessed no, but now I’m not so sure. There have been multiple occasions where we’ve seen head coach Greg Popovich clap back at Leonards camp with some very not-so-subtle jabs about his availability. Both sides are giving us every reason to believe that Leonard will ultimately be out of the black and silver next year.
A player of Leonard’s talent level should garnish a pretty hefty haul for San Antonio, so it makes sense that they would move him rather than just letting him walk after his contract expires. The Spurs have also made it pretty clear that they will not be moving Leonard to a Western Conference team. Why trade a star player to one of your toughest competitors? (@Cleveland) So with that said, who is the one team in the East with the most capital to land a superstar via trade? Yeah, you guessed it, THE ATLANTA HAWKS. Just kidding, obviously, I’m referring to Danny Ainge and the Boston Celtics baby.
What exactly does a fair trade package for Leonard look like? We’ve seen superstars go for dirt cheap as of late, so I’m honestly not sure. But I do know one thing for sure, it looks absolutely NOTHING like this:
Here in Boston, we’re regularly accused of overvaluing our players. And perhaps we do. #Celtics followers are arguably the worst of the bunch.
But, good God. Look at this Kawhi Leonard trade proposal from a #Spurs beat writer in San Antonio.
— Adam Kaufman (@AdamMKaufman) May 7, 2018
I would love this San Antonio beat writer to share whatever it is that he’s smoking, because you have to be full-blown crazy to think this is a good trade. This would be highway robbery for San Antonio. If Danny Ainge walked up to me and offered the future of the league as we know it (Tatum AND Brown), Greg “Greg” Monroe, and another first round pick, I’d feel so guilty that I’d have to wine and dine him before absolutely bending him over with this trade. I mean, there’s no way anyone can think this is fair right?
Leonard is great, there’s no arguing it. Adding him to Kyrie, Hayward, and Horford would make the Celtics the clear favorites in the Eastern Conference. But why would you rock the boat AGAIN like this? Ainge shook up the roster big time last year by turning 11 of his 15 roster spots into new guys, there’s no reason to take a chance like that again right now. Tatum and Brown have both taken major steps in the right direction with all of the injuries this season. And the scary part about that is, they’re only going to get better. What you’re going to get next year with the two kids, along with the addition of Kyrie and Hayward, has a chance of being exponentially better than what Leonard could possibly be here. There’s no way I’m trading either of them for Kawhi Leonard.
-Nick Cherico (@NickCherico2)