Boston Celtics given best odds at landing Kawhi Leonard

Ruben Holloway
June 20, 2018

"I'm hearing that the Clippers have a better chance at this deal than the Lakers", said former NBA player Brendan Haywood on Sirius XM NBA Radio.

Still just 26, it's extremely rare that a player fresh off placing in the top three of the MVP voting the past two (healthy) seasons is demanding to be traded away from the franchise that helped develop him into one of the elite two-way players in the game. The Cavaliers have struggled to build a team around James that can take on the Warriors, having been dominated in the NBA Finals for two straight years. Despite his credentials, Leonard missed all but nine games of the 2017-18 season due to a nagging quad injury. "He's gone from something that was just gifted physically and then you saw the emergence of like a really, he might be the best two-way player in the National Basketball Association". In a flawless storm of free agency drama, the Kawhi Leonard and LeBron James superteam rumors have begun.

If the Spurs trade Leonard, they should take the best offer they get - no matter who makes it. Teams like the Celtics and 76ers have better assets to dangle.

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On draft night in 2011, after selecting him 15th overall, the Indiana Pacers traded Leonard's draft rights to San Antonio for Hill. We explore a few potential trade packages they can pull together.

The Lakers would be left to fill the rest of their roster with veteran's minimum contracts, a salary-cap exception of about $4.3 million, and a trade exception of about $1.5 million for trading Larry Nance the Cavs.

The Spurs may want Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, and Josh Hart - as well as the Lakers' first-round pick (which came from the Cavs). But they aren't going to let Leonard dictate his trade destination.

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With the 2018 offseason set to kick into full swing, another major storyline has emerged from San Antonio.

They have the No. 8 pick in this week's draft and would most likely also send Kevin Love or Tristan Thompson for Leonard.

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