By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
Is the Kawhi Leonard rumor mill turning into a full-on Celtics-Lakers arms race?
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted on Thursday that the San Antonio Spurs are “fully engaged” with several teams in trade talks for the disgruntled superstar, specifically mentioning the C’s and Lakers. He noted that Boston “has long had the assets that the Spurs most covet in a potential Leonard trade.”
The Spurs can still play long game with Leonard, try to repair relationship and get to a place where they're comfortable offering $219M super max. The urgency to get a deal done belongs to Lakers now, but circumstances and leverage can change quickly. https://t.co/RIralTBUe9— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 28, 2018
This could indicate that the Celtics are willing to part with Jaylen Brown and/or their cache of 2019 first-round picks in order to land Leonard. Other reports have indicated that the C’s aren’t trading him or Jayson Tatum in any deal. Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald recently reported that the C’s would need assurance that Leonard would be willing to stay in Boston beyond the 2018-19 season, despite recent rumblings that he’s already informed teams he will sign with either the Lakers or Clippers next summer. So if the C’s actually pulled off a Leonard trade, it’s likely they will have convinced him to change his mind about that.
However, Wojnarowski also tweeted that the Celtics are being “extremely cautious” about making such a move.
It’s quite possible that this is just a matter of Danny Ainge and/or the Spurs slipping Woj some information to drive up the price for the Lakers. Why not get Magic Johnson to give up an overwhelming trove of assets for what would be, essentially, one year of Leonard – a player whom the Lakers already known they can sign in 2019 anyway?
Stay tuned. This likely won’t be the last “Woj-Bomb” related to Leonard, the Celtics, and the Lakers. Whatever happens, it’s sure fun to have the longtime rivals back butting heads again, even if it’s all a smokescreen.
Matt Dolloff 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 Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at email@example.com.