Last season was rough for Kawhi Leonard and the San Antonio Spurs. The relationship between the superstar and the Spurs was so bad that other teams believed they had a shot at acquiring Leonard during the middle of the season.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Celtics GM Danny Ainge approached the Spurs about trading for Kawhi during the midseason trade deadline.
The Boston Celtics made a trade offer to San Antonio before the February deadline, but the Spurs turned it down — and never made a counterproposal, league sources said. San Antonio wasn’t willing to discuss deals for Leonard in February. So far this spring, the Spurs remain resistant to trades.
If reconciliation talks don’t go well with Leonard, San Antonio has time to reconsider that stance. For example, Boston has the most appealing assets: starry young players and Sacramento’s No. 1-protected 2019 first-round pick.
Only four months since the trade deadline, the Celtics find themselves in a different organizational space. GM Danny Ainge can stay on course with forwards Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown on rookie contracts, sparing Boston the financial pressure of re-signing two maximum-contract players with injury histories — Kyrie Irving and Leonard — in 2019.
The Spurs are trying to repair their relationship with Leonard this offseason but if things don’t work out there’s a good chance they’ll move him before the trade deadline.