DeRozan as a centerpiece is a disappointing return, but also one that reflects market realities. Gregg Popovich does not want to finish his career in a rebuild. The Spurs never showed interest in packages — including Boston’s — heavy on picks and unproven players, sources have said. The Celtics would not swap any of their core guys, including Jaylen Brown, perhaps the most interesting Leonard trade chip in the league, without some assurances about Leonard’s health and future plans, sources have said.
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Boston hasn’t included Jaylen Brown, sources say. As I wrote here, it might make more sense to offer Kyrie Irving or Gordon Hayward before Brown, but I don’t see either happening. Boston is confident it can re-sign Irving despite chatter — credible chatter — that Irving and Jimmy Butler would like to play together, per league sources. They’ve earned such confidence.
Sources told Sporting News that the Celtics are approaching the situation with trepidation. They have no intention of trading Tatum whatsoever this offseason, even in a deal for Leonard. The Spurs would want Brown as part of any trade package, but even there, Boston is wavering.
As one source told Sporting News, “There’s a limit on how much they’re going to be willing to pay for a team, no matter how good the roster is. There’s a limit on everybody. And eventually, the bill will come due on the players they have.” Celtics owners have said they’d be willing to pay the luxury tax, but that bill figures to get large — quickly. Yes, the Celtics have a rich deal with their local broadcaster, but they do not own the TD Garden — it’s owned by the Bruins — and that will always put something of a cap on revenues.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Boston’s extremely cautious on Leonard front. There’s so much uncertainty w/ Leonard’s future — health, free agent desires, etc. Will Leonard be same player? That’s hard to tell. Celtics don’t have to make a risky trade and have no intention to do so. It’s an interesting dance.
Adrian Wojnarowski: The Spurs are fully engaged in trade talks with several teams on Kawhi Leonard, including the Lakers and Celtics, league sources tell ESPN. Boston has long had the assets that the Spurs most covet in a potential Leonard trade.
If the San Antonio Spurs get serious about trading Kawhi Leonard, the Celtics, according to multiple league sources, would like to be involved. But there has been nothing yet to indicate they have a realistic chance.
A Western Conference source with an interest in the proceedings told the Herald the Spurs did have a brief discussion with the Celts today, but there was no real negotiation. It was the first contact between the teams since before the draft, but even those talks did not include the C’s making an offer. That brief call, according to two league sources, went nowhere.
Look for Danny Ainge to get these questions answered as best he can should the Spurs be willing to talk business. The Celtics did make an inquiry on Leonard prior to February’s trade deadline, but, according to sources, that was more of a due diligence call that never got to a back-and-forth exchange of offers.
Jorge Sierra: This comes via @BovadaLV. #KawhiSweepstakes
The Celtics and Spurs have not engaged in any trade talks this spring involving disgruntled San Antonio Spurs star Kawhi Leonard, but if Leonard does indeed become available, Boston is expected to express interest, according to a league source.
Adrian Wojnarowski: If Kawhi Leonard does become available in trade talks, the Boston Celtics will be interested in probing the Spurs about a deal, league sources tell ESPN. Boston inquired about a trade prior to the February deadline, sources said.
Kevin O’Connor: Expect the the Sixers, Celtics, Lakers and Clippers to be the main four teams pursuing Kawhi Leonard, per sources. Teams with top picks could always jump into the sweepstakes, but the risk would be significant considering Leonard has just one more season left on his contract.
The Los Angeles Lakers and Philadelphia 76ers have interest in Leonard, each with a differing array of young assets to trade for him now and the potential of salary-cap space to sign Leonard outright in 2019. In the end, Leonard could dictate his destination based on his willingness to sign long term upon a trade. Oklahoma City acquired All-Star forward Paul George last summer without a commitment, and there will undoubtedly be a few teams with a similarly adventurous spirit in pursuit of Leonard.
The Boston Celtics made a trade offer to San Antonio before the February deadline, but the Spurs turned it down — and never made a counterproposal, league sources said. San Antonio wasn’t willing to discuss deals for Leonard in February. So far this spring, the Spurs remain resistant to trades.
Chris Mannix: “The one thing the Spurs have to decide over the next few weeks is: Are they prepared to make Kawhi Leonard a super-max offer? Because if they make Kawhi a super-max offer — when I talk to other teams, they’d be stunned if Kawhi turned it down. That’s just real money. The oft repeated phrase I hear is, ‘Take the money and demand a trade later.’ You can’t get that money back from another team in a potential trade. So the Spurs have to decide if they want to do that. If they don’t, then they have to put him on the market. In that situation, the situation is irreconcilable. Now, you hear the Lakers, you hear the Knicks, Boston will be in line for this. They absolutely will make an offer of some type for Kawhi Leonard. And they still have more assets than anyone else.”
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January 21, 2019 | 7:12 am EST Update
Thompson stands to make $18.5 million next season. That’s a big number to take on, even if it’s only for one year, because of the 2019 free-agent sweepstakes so many teams want to have salary-cap space for. Unless Thompson puts a team over the top, then it would probably make more sense for a team to trade for him next season. The Cavs want him around to shepherd younger players through the early stages of this rebuild. They’ll probably be able to get better assets in return for him at next year’s trade deadline. There’s also a chance the Cavs want Thompson long term, and could, therefore, keep him and offer him an extension over the summer. What he thinks: “Blake Griffin got traded. At the end of the day, if the trade is right and the pieces are guys they feel can help the franchise moving forward, I’m totally understanding. It’s a business. If you don’t have a no-trade clause, anything can happen.”
In chasing Davis, the Lakers may need a push from his agent Rich Paul of Klutch Sports, who also represents James. “I’d say if the [Philadelphia 76ers offer Ben] Simmons, or with the [Boston] Celtics’ package of picks and young players, the Lakers would probably be third,” the former executive said. “One would think that [Pelicans general manager] Dell [Demps] would want a deal done around the draft [with Boston’s picks].”
In the meantime, Kuzma has shown he can help carry a team offensively. “He’s a legitimate scorer that fits the modern NBA perfectly,” a former general manager told Bleacher Report. “Kuzma has the highest value of the [Lakers’ young prospects]. He’s the most proven.”
There is no reason for the Cavs not to trade him. Really, he was acquired from the Jazz for Korver in December in large part because of his contract — it’s such a tradable commodity. They should move him for the best offer they get now because he’s a free agent at season’s end. He’s a capable player, yes, but at age 27 he hasn’t shown enough to warrant a new contract from Cleveland in this rebuild. A nice player, but not a cornerstone. What he thinks: “I don’t want to be traded, but we’ll see what happens. It ain’t up to me. I can’t dwell on something that ain’t happenin’. Just have to wait and see. I like being around my teammates. They’ve shown me so much love, why would I want to leave?”
The Big3 league will expand to 12 teams and play two days a week, an increase from its Friday night slate last season. The plan is for six teams to play in one city and six in another during an 18-city tour. The minimum age for a player has been lowered to 27, and the league is expected to target former Celtic Jared Sullinger.
It wasn’t that Griffin was angered by the trade. He was angry that he heard about it third-person. He was angry that as friendly as Rivers can be, he didn’t bother to pick up the phone and inform his franchise player, tabbed a “Clipper for life” when he signed a five-year, $173 million contract extension in June 2017.
“I haven’t spoken to him,” Rivers said of Griffin. “That’s happened many times in my career, so I don’t make a big deal of that. You guys do, but I don’t at all. I’ve had some guys, even some guys I’m very close to — most trades and departures don’t go very well, for the record. They just don’t. I can cite you 100 of them, Kendrick Perkins [in Boston], who was like my son. Nah, they don’t go well. We all come back eventually.”