Breaking news came out that San Antonio superstar Kawhi Leonard wants out of San Antonio. What makes this even more interesting is that his preferred destination is the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Lakers would have to offer a huge package to get him, most likely including young studs Brandon Ingram and Julius Randle, but Kawhi Leonard is worth it. People forget just how good he is; a former two-time Defensive Player of the Year, 2x All-Star, and Finals MVP.
Plus, the Spurs wouldn’t get a bad return. They’d have to start a rebuild, but I can see it being like the Boston Celtics’ “rebuild.” It’ll only last a few years, but they’ll be back to being good again in no time.
The only issue is, Gregg Popovich never trades with the Western Conference, especially a rival. This is what may hold back a Kawhi trade to LA.
Although the Lakers, and even the Knicks, may be preferred destinations for Kawhi, a team like Boston can swoop in and enter the sweepstakes.
It’s obvious that the Celtics have the most assets to offer in any trade compared to any other team in the league. Having both Tatum and Brown, along with Rozier and their stash of picks, gives them the ability to trade for almost any player in the league. They can offer the Spurs a trade that no other team can accept.
We always talk about Danny Ainge playing chess while everyone else is playing checkers, but that wouldn’t be the case here. Danny Ainge and Gregg Popovich would play the greatest game of chess the basketball world had ever seen.
Both teams can gain a lot from this trade. The Spurs get a potential superstar in Jaylen Brown, along with Terry Rozier, and an abundance of draft picks. The Celtics get arguably the third best player in the world, maybe even the second best when healthy.
The duo of Kyrie Irving and Kawhi Leonard would be deadly, and having those two leading the way with Gordon Hayward, Al Horford, and Jayson Tatum besides them would be close to unstoppable. Trading Terry Rozier, to me, would mean that Marcus Smart will return to Boston next season and beyond. Marcus Smart could be included in the trade, via a sign-and-trade, but I’m plugging Rozier into the trade because he has more value. As for the rest of the bench, well it’ll just sort itself out. We would have to see who else would be included in the trade to match salaries.
You can try to change my mind, but I think that the Celtics would be just as good as the Golden State Warriors, and undoubtedly matchup with them better than any other team in the NBA (barring any crazy offseason moves).
Rumors are going to start heating up big time. Stay tuned for more at @DanteOnDeck