The Spurs are reportedly ready to deal its disgruntled superstar. It may not be to the destination that everyone expects in a Kawhi Leonard trade though.
The Lakers are involved, and the team has some assets that it could flip. Young star forward Brandon Ingram could be a potential piece, as well as Lonzo Ball and Kyle Kuzma, who are both coming off of strong rookie years.
The other name Woj drops is more interesting though: the Boston Celtics.
Last off-season, the C’s proved that they can be a bit ruthless in their pursuit of becoming a championship contender. The tea dealt fan favorite Isaiah Thomas to the Cleveland Cavaliers after he played through injury and following the death of his sister for the team. In return, it got Kyrie Irving, who was on his way to a tremendous season before going down ahead of the playoffs.
Irving seems to enjoy Boston. However, he has not committed to signing with the team after next season, when his contract is up.
Per Woj, Boston “has long had the assets that the Spurs most covet in a potential Leonard trade.” The easiest names to identify there are young star forwards Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum. Irving could be a piece as well, if Boston isn’t confident in keeping him.
Kyrie Irving has reportedly been interested in a long-term deal with the Spurs in the past, and could make sense in a Kawhi Leonard trade.
When he was forcing his way out of Cleveland, San Antonio was one of the teams that the Cavaliers thought they might be able to move him to. From Woj last August:
The Spurs have interest in Irving, league sources say, and Irving’s willingness to commit to an extension with the Spurs makes for legitimate win-now deal possibilities for Cleveland.
The interest appears to be very mutual. Just this past January, Woj reported that the Spurs tried “really really hard” to land Kyrie.
— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) January 4, 2018
Landing a superstar for Kyrie, on the understanding that he would re-sign, would be a great move for the Spurs. It would also get Leonard out of the Western Conference for at least a year.
If Irving isn’t set to be in Boston long-term, it could make sense for the Celtics as well. However, the team may balk at adding a Brown or Tatum to that deal, if there is little chance that Leonard will sign an extension.