In February, around the 2018 NBA Trade Deadline, the Boston Celtics reportedly made an offer for San Antonio Spurs star Kawhi Leonard.
Since January this saga between the San Antonio Spurs and Kawhi Leonard has become one of the NBA’s most-discussed topics. It started with a right quadriceps injury before the 2017-18 season started and it lingered from start to finish; Leonard played in just nine games and missed San Antonio’s brief postseason run.
Speculation and rumors have followed in between and since the end of the season, whether it’s a potential meeting between Leonard and Gregg Popovich or possible trade destinations for the latter man. However, one franchise approached the Spurs about a deal.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Boston Celtics made an offer for Leonard in February, before the 2018 NBA Trade Deadline. The Spurs declined, never countered the offer, and remain resistant to the idea of a move for their superstar. Confirmed interest from the Los Angeles Lakers and Philadelphia 76ers was also noted.
Wojnarowski did not note what the Celtics included in the deal, but well before their run to the Eastern Conference Finals, what if they were willing to move one of Jayson Tatum or Jaylen Brown, draft picks and other pieces to go with them?
Tatum, the potential 2017-18 NBA Rookie of the Year, became one of Boston’s stars in the postseason, with 18.5 points on 47.1 percent shooting. Now, with Kyrie Irving’s future in doubt past next season, Gordon Hayward’s injury and all the other pieces in place, it’s difficult to think Boston would move their prized asset from Duke.
Brown took his own steps forward this season, with a nearly eight-point spike in points per game, increased his 3-point field goal percentage from 34.1 to 39.5, and averaged 18 points in the postseason. So his own value might be different than what it was in February.
The Celtics had interesting pieces to offer when their immediate future featured some questions. With this spring’s postseason success, though, along with San Antonio’s lack of a desire to move Leonard, it does not seem that the stars will align.