There might never be fire when it comes to the San Antonio Spurs trading Kawhi Leonard to the Boston Celtics. But there’s already plenty of smoke surrounding the possibility, especially when NBA stars start envisioning Leonard in green.
Yahoo! Sports’ Jordan Schultz appeared on “The Dan Patrick Show” this week and was asked about a conversation he recently had with Dwyane Wade regarding the upcoming offseason. The Miami Heat star apparently expects Paul George to sign with the Los Angeles Lakers — a belief shared by many — but he also could see the Spurs trading Leonard to the Celtics.
“That was really surprising,” Schultz said, looking back on his chat with D-Wade. “His thought process was probably like ours, Dan, which is something is really wrong there (in San Antonio). It’s so toxic and severed there between the front office and Kawhi Leonard, that it might really be at the point of no return.”
Leonard was limited to just nine games during the regular season because of a lingering quad injury that’s seemingly causing friction with the Spurs. It’s not crazy to think San Antonio could explore trading the two-time All-Star, even though he’s one of the best two-way players in the NBA when healthy.
The Celtics already have a solid nucleus and should improve next season once Gordon Hayward returns from the gruesome leg injury he suffered in October. But Leonard is an elite talent who’s turning just 27 in June. Perhaps Danny Ainge will dip into his cupboard of assets and swing another summer blockbuster with an eye toward building an Eastern Conference powerhouse.
What would the Celtics have to surrender in a trade for Leonard? It’s hard to say, although the Spurs probably would ask for Jayson Tatum and/or Jaylen Brown as part of any package.