Per Adrian Wojnarowski, the Boston Celtics sent the San Antonio Spurs a trade proposal before the trade deadline last February centering around injured forward, Kawhi Leonard. The Spurs showed their interest level, or lack thereof, by turning down the offer and not making a counter proposal.
Leonard, coming off of a mysterious right quad injury, played just 9 games games for the Spurs this season after going down in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals last year against the Golden State Warriors. Leonard averaged 16.2 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 2.0 steals in his brief return in December before playing his last game on January 13th against the Denver Nuggets.
While Wojnarowski did not detail what the Celtics offer, it likely wasn’t anything close to their best trade package. The Spurs’ lack of a response, both in February and since then, indicates that they’re more focused on repairing the relationship between Kawhi Leonard and the organization than moving on quickly. Per Wojnarowski, indications are that Leonard is seeking the super-max contract that only the Spurs can offer next summer if Leonard either makes one of the All-NBA teams or wins either the MVP award or Defensive Player of the Year.
If the Spurs reconsider, the Celtics will definitely be at or near the top of their list of potential trade partners. Even though Boston has cashed in on a number of their vaunted assets already, the war chest is still full of available trade chips, between the 2019 Sacramento Kings pick and the number of talented young players, including Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum and Terry Rozier, who led the team to the 2018 Eastern Conference Finals. It’s unclear at this time how much the Celtics would be willing to actually offer in serious trade negotiations for Leonard.
Kawhi Leonard and the Spurs are reportedly in the “healing stage” of their relationship, but until firm commitments are in place, trade speculation will continue. Leonard, a former Finals MVP and 2-time Defensive Player of the Year, is one of the premier players in the league. Whatever he and the Spurs decide will surely have an impact on the NBA ecosystem.