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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August 15, 2018 | 2:11 pm EDT Update
Ryan Ward: Jeanie Buss on LeBron James (1/2): “He has proven to be a leader amongst his peers. He is making a decision to change lives & to invest in the young people in his community where he grew up where he knows he can make a change…” via @RichEisenShow #Lakers
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