The saga involving the San Antonio Spurs and Kawhi Leonard was one of the strangest story lines of the NBA season. It lasted for months, and was cloaked in mystery.
Leonard is a great player, but it’s fair to wonder about the relationship between him and the Spurs moving forward. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski has published a long report addressing that topic.
Within that report is this very interesting tidbit: the Spurs reportedly turned down a trade for Leonard in February.
The team that approached them? The Boston Celtics.
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.
If reconciliation talks don’t go well with Leonard, San Antonio has time to reconsider that stance. For example, Boston has the most appealing assets: starry young players and Sacramento’s No. 1-protected 2019 first-round pick.
Wojnarowski adds that the Philadelphis 76ers and Los Angeles Lakers are also showing interest in trading for Leonard.
Leonard missed all but nine games this past season with his confounding leg injury. He is set to make $20 million next season with a player option for 2019-20.
He didn’t meet any All-NBA criteria this season, so he’ll need to re-qualify next year in order to be eligible to a super max contract next summer, which would be worth $219 million over five years.