Boston Celtics

The Kawhi Leonard Saga is as exhausting as it is confusing.

Obviously on the outs in San Antonio, it’s been said that Leonard is bound for his hometown of Los Angeles, where he would happily play for the Lakers. If not the Lakers, the Boston Celtics appeared to be the next favorite given what they could send to the Spurs to facilitate a trade. That has been disputed by some, with many noting that Celtics president Danny Ainge is not willing to part with any of the pieces that Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich and general manager R.C. Buford are demanding.

But Yahoo’s Shams Charania slammed the brakes on pretty much all of that — at least in regards to the two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year’s interest in landing with either team — during an appearance on The Herd.

“One thing that’s been made abundantly clear. I’m going to stress this: There’s no guarantee if Kawhi Leonard hits the market next summer he’s going to sign with the Lakers, period,” said Charania. “I think his options have broadened a little bit. There’s another team obviously in L.A.,” added Charania. “I think he’d be very much open to the Clippers.”

Well, the C’s must be his choice besides the Clips then, right?

“There’s not much interest in the Boston Celtics scenario for [Leonard],” Charania said.

Charania also went on to point out that Leonard could have an interest in joining the Philadelphia 76ers on a long-term deal should they make a strong pitch to him. Such a move would obviously change the landscape of the Eastern Conference (provided Leonard is healthy and motivated), and establish the C’s top competition within the East for years to come.

He also noted that Leonard is not necessarily looking for the easiest path to a championship with his next destination.

“Around Kawhi, it’s been made abundantly clear there’s not an interest to go join a superteam,” Charania pointed out. “I don’t think he’s jumping for joy that LeBron James is in L.A. with the Lakers. If anything, that’s going to make him look, maybe more, toward the Clippers because this is a guy that won Finals MVP against LeBron James.

“You think he’s amped up and wants to join LeBron now? I think that’s been overstated.”

No matter what Leonard’s feelings are, you can expect Ainge and the Celtics to lurk in the shadows until a deal is made.