Will the Boston Celtics make a push for San Antonio Spurs’ star forward Kawhi Leonard during the upcoming NBA off-season?

A few days ago on ESPN’s ‘NBA Countdown,’ Leonard became the topic of conversation after news came down that he was returning to New York for re-evaluation and rehab on an ailing quad injury.

Leonard has appeared in just nine games for the Spurs this season, with his last appearance being on January 13 against the Denver Nuggets.

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During the NBA Countdown, Michelle Beadle asked Jalen Rose and Paul Pierce: “where could you see him going where it’s a better situation with the chance to win, year in and year out?”

Someone better call the “Hot Take Police” because prior to answering Beadle’s question, Rose had a steaming hot take on Leonard.

“When he’s healthy, he’s one of the top three players in the league.”

Hey now! There’s no way he’s better than Steph Curry, LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Heck how about James Harden, Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durrant?

That’s six players right there that Leonard is certainly not better than. Don’t get it twisted, Leonard is one helluva player, who can do pretty much anything on the floor and he’d look damn good in a C’s uniform, but he’s not better than those “Top Six” players.

Rose went onto say that the Celtics could be a fit for the two-time Defensive Player of the Year because “they have the assets.” Whether it’s Jaylen Brown or Jayson Tatum, plus draft capital, the C’s have the means to pull off a deal to bring in the star forward.

But in the process, “they’re going to lose one of those players to acquire them. They’re probably going to lose [Terry] Rozier and/or [Marcus] Smart. Probably got to lose Horford because of his salary,” said Rose.

Rose went onto say that, “in order for the them [Celtics] to take the next step, they need another all-star.”

OAKLAND, CA – Kawhi Leonard of the San Antonio Spurs stands on the court during Game One of the NBA Western Conference Finals against the Golden State Warriors at ORACLE Arena on May 14, 2017. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Pierce on the other-hand, responded with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Here’s why: “They have the cap space. — Money to put in two max contracts.”

But Pierce went onto to say that “they may smooth things out for one more year in San Antonio, then open up the doors for him next summer” to leave the Lone Star State as a free agent.

Leonard, 26, is under contract for the 2018-2019 season at just over $20 million and has a player option for the 2019-2020 season at $21.3 million.

Over his seven-year career, the one-time NBA Champion is averaging 16.3 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 2 steals-per-game. He’s a 49.5 percent shooter from the field, who knocks down 38.6 percent of his three-point attempts in 30.4 minutes-per-game.

According to James Stewart of 98.5 The Sports Hub’s ‘Felger & Massarotti’ program, it would take something like Brown and four first round picks to get the 2012-2013 NBA Finals MVP to the Celtics.

Is it worth trading in the remaining pile of assets president of basketball operations Danny Ainge has amassed to bring in the super star forward?

With such a deal, the C’s projected starting lineup would consist of Kyrie Irving, Gordon Hayward, Jayson Tatum, Kawhi Leonard and Al Horford (if he’s not traded).

*Note: Marcus Morris is under contract next season at $5.3 million.

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Leonard with Hayward and Irving, in the Eastern Conference could be a force to be reckoned with. That “Big Three” could certainly make a push for a NBA Championship.

Sure the Celtics could use an all-pro type defender, who’s also a threat on the offensive end. But can Leonard stay healthy? That’s the dark cloud floating over such a deal.

And what if Brown is really the “next” Leonard?

Or what if Davis becomes available? Is it worth holding out hope to land the best “big” in the league?

Yes it is!

Davis averages a double-double year in and year out, to go along with playing tremendous defense in and out of the paint. Over his six-year career, he’s shooting a favorable 51.7 percent from the field and 30.7 percent from three for 23.4 points-per-game.

DENVER, CO – Anthony Davis of the New Orleans Pelicans puts up a shot over Kenneth Faried of the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center on November 17, 2017. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

The five-time All-Star is in the midst of arguably his best season yet, where he’s averaging an impressive 28.1 points-per-game, which ranks second in the NBA, on 53.5 percent shooting from the field and 33.8 percent from three.

The two-time All-Defensive Team player has remained a force in the paint averaging 11.1 rebounds, 2.3 assists and a league-leading 2.5 blocks in 36.4 minutes-per-game.

Davis, 25, is under contract through the 2019-2020 season, with a player option for the 2020-2021 season.

The Celtics have a handful of huge decisions to make during the upcoming offseason, which involves players currently on the roster and players who could be a fit for this evolving Celtics team.

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UP NEXT: The Celtics (53-24) will play the second of back-to-back road games on Wednesday night against the Toronto Raptors (55-22). Catch the call of the game with Sean Grande and Cedric Maxwell, live on 98.5 The Sports Hub. Pre-game coverage begins at 7:30 p.m., with tip-off set for 8:00 p.m.

— By John ‘The Dude’ Hardiman, 985TheSportsHub.com

John Hardiman is a Digital Producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for John? Hit him up on Twitter @HardiDude or e-mail him at john.hardiman@bbgi.com.