Trade for Leonard looks like a long shot for Celtics

Monday, 02 Jul, 2018

One day before the start of National Basketball Association free agency, Kawhi Leonard of the San Antonio Spurs turned 27 years old on Friday, and it is no secret what his birthday wish is. Or the Rockets could sign James as a free agent, but it would make it impossible for them to re-sign free agents Chris Paul, Trevor Ariza and Clint Capela without those players taking substantial paycuts.

The Los Angeles Lakers reportedly want to trade for Kawhi Leonard, believing it can help them land LeBron James in free agency.

According to a report from ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Ramona Shelburne, and Brian Windhorst, there is mounting pressure for the Los Angeles Lakers to trade for Leonard before free agency starts on July 1. Prior to the injury woes this season, he was a two-time Defensive Player of the Year and three-time first-team All Defense.

The Spurs could find themselves driving up the price for Leonard, as teams grow desperate to trade for him as a means to land James or George. Though Leonard told other teams he wouldn't re-sign with them by the summer of 2019, the Celtics could still trade for Leonard as he has no power of where he goes.

The Spurs are finally getting down to the dirty business, but not with the Lakers.

"The third choice here other than Boston or LA - the Spurs could just keep Kawhi and hope that they can fix the situation". By giving what the Spurs would like (young stars, draft picks), the C's might be able to make a better run for a championship this season. This is one of several reasons why neither of them may obtain him. Knowing that there is a possibility that Kawhi Leonard may walk at the end of next season, neither the 76ers nor the Celtics will maximize their offers.

The stakes on these talks are enormous, because a deal for Leonard would likely clinch a free agent commitment out of LeBron James.

"I just don't think the Spurs are that motivated to trade Kawhi". Pairing Kawhi Leonard up with either of them creates a good Clippers team in position for a long run.

James isn't expected to attend the meeting, which is the first significant chance for the 76ers to make case a free-agent case to James, league sources said.

What also can not be dismissed is the Los Angeles Clippers and their desire to trade for Kawhi Leonard.