Woj: Celtics’ ‘Top-5’ Players Are ‘Off Limits’ in Potential Kawhi Leonard Trade
By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
The Boston Celtics and other NBA teams are still trying to trade for Kawhi Leonard, but they’re not budging on their packages for the San Antonio Spurs superstar.
Watch above as ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski gives his latest update on the Celtics’ reported pursuit of Leonard, which continues to come with the understanding that he intends to become a free agent in 2019 and sign with one of the two Los Angeles teams. As far as Woj knows, the C’s aren’t willing to give up any of their top-5 players – Kyrie Irving, Gordon Hayward, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, or Al Horford. In fact, they’re “off limits” in any potential deal.
Woj added that Danny Ainge would be “more willing to do a deal that is pick-heavy.” The Celtics do still possess a deep trove of draft assets, including 2019 first round picks from the Sacramento Kings (protected only against No. 1), Memphis Grizzlies (top-8 protected), and L.A. Clippers (lottery-protected).
It certainly sounds like Ainge would do the deal for Leonard if he could spin something like Terry Rozier and the draft picks off to San Antonio. And that still wouldn’t come with the guarantee that Leonard would be fully healthy for the entire 2018-19 season, let alone fully engaged and committed to going on a championship run in Boston for that one year.
And by the way, it does sound like Leonard wouldn’t necessarily be too excited about going to the C’s. There’s reportedly “not much interest” from his side in a trade to Boston.
Woj also said that the Philadelphia 76ers aren’t offering Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, or Markelle Fultz in any potential trade packages for Leonard. In light of his intentions to stay with either team for only one season, the Sixers and Celtics are both standing their ground.
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.