Celtics Notes: Leonard, Irving, Draft, Summer League

President of basketball operations Danny Ainge is wary of paying a steep price for Kawhi Leonard without a guarantee that he’ll stay more than one season, writes Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe. Leonard has asked for a trade out of San Antonio and the Celtics may be able to put together the best offer, but Ainge will probably be cautious, according to Washburn.

He suggests Jaylen Brown or Jayson Tatum would have to be part of the package, along with the rights to the Kings’ first-rounder in 2019. It might be easier to match salaries by including Gordon Hayward, but his trade value has dropped after missing the season with a severe ankle fracture.

Kyrie Irving can already opt out next season, and the Celtics might be reluctant to have two stars on their roster who could leave at the same time, especially if it means breaking up a young core that looks like it will be a contender for several years.

There’s more today from Boston:

  • Irving hopes to resume playing again “in like a month,” he said in an appearance this week on The Bill Simmons Podcast. NBC Sports Boston relayed a few of his comments, including an explanation of what it was like to deal with a knee infection that forced him to miss the entire playoffs. “I was leaving the games at halftime because I had eight-hour shifts of antibiotics I had to take for my infection,” Irving said. “I had a PICC line in my arm for two months and I’m just like… every day is like OK, I can’t necessarily lift, I can’t run, I can’t do anything. If I didn’t have my PICC line in for my infection I would have definitely tried to go after being ready for at least the Eastern Conference Finals.”
  • The Celtics have a recent history of going the draft-and-stash route late in the first round, but the overseas talent doesn’t warrant it this year, writes A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston. Apart from Luka Doncic, the only foreign players with a shot at being taken in the first round are French point guard Elie Okobo and Bosnian wing Dzanan Musa, according to Blakely.
  • Guerschon Yabusele, Kadeem Allen and Jabari Bird are all expected to be part of the Celtics’ summer league team in Las Vegas, Washburn notes. Bird has a two-way contract, so Boston has to make a qualifying offer before he is eligible. Jay Larranaga will coach the team.
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21 thoughts on “Celtics Notes: Leonard, Irving, Draft, Summer League

  1. Z-A

    Why not just swap Kyrie for Kawhi. Use Brown or Tatum to land someone else. Bc once Hayward returns you only need 1 or them.

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    • x%sure

      Perfect salary match! I would like that trade, if only to expose KL. So simple. For the Spurs, keeps Kawhi out of the WC.

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  2. bravesfan88
    bravesfan88

    If I’m the Celtics, I definitely try to trade Hayward and the Kings 1st rounder..If they could pull that deal off, then good lord what a squad!!

    Kyrie
    Brown
    Kawhi
    Tatum
    Horford

    With Rozier, Smart, Morris, Baynes and Co. off the bench they’d CLEARLY and instantly would become the deepest roster in the NBA..

    Not to mention, defensively this team would be one of the best the league has seen in quite some time!!

    All they would need is maybe another solid 3-point shooter/floor spacer off the bench or two, and I would put that team up against any other team currently constructed…Provided health, I think they would even be able to beat the Warriors in a 7 game series..Honestly, I don’t think it would even take 7 games, if the Celtics had home court advantage. I think they’d be able to pull off the series win in 6..

    With their depth, length, versatility, and especially their defensive intensity, I think they would wear down and frustrate the Warriors in a first to 4 series..

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    • chiefivey

      that sounds amazing but if im SA im not taking just hayward and that first round pick. it would definitely need to be more

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      • Z-A

        It’s very rare you get an all star in his prime back in a trade. Look what Boogie landed. Look what Kyrie landed.

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      • sportsfan101

        Wow one big injury and you think heyward is worth nothing. Clearly you know nothing bro. Dude will be an all star next year and if in Boston or sa bring them to the playoffs. Also you highly are underestimating first round picks do you actually follow basketball or you just trolling this page? Pathetic post my friend

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        • stug14

          Really? Based on his 1st half of one game in a C’s uniform? Perhaps we should actually see how he fits in this system before writing him off.

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          • yoyo137

            There is someone a few comments above you saying that he will be an all star next year. Perhaps everyone needs to stop making predictions lol

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            • stug14

              Didn’t say he would be an All Star (although track record would suggest that’s a possibility). All I’m saying is that we should stop thinking of him as a throw in for salary on deals.

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    • San Antonio’s not doing a deal unless Brown is Tatum is in it. Taking Hayward back sucks up salary cap.

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      • Z-A

        Well you realize if its Hawayrd for Kawhi, its Kawhi + Green or Gay or Mills right? Salary Matching. So it likely ends up with a deal sweetener for the Spurs.

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        • I realize that:

          A) Hayward alone won’t get Leonard. Spurs are most likely going to insist on either Tatum or Brown plus the Kings pick next year. Doubt the Spurs would have any interest in Hayward.
          B) Green may opt out, TBD.
          C) Gay may opt out, TBD.
          D) Spurs wouldn’t need to offload anything more than Leonard in a deal to “salary match” – they’ll have some cap wiggle room with Parker’s expired contract and the likelihood of a few opt outs.

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            • Reports here in San Antonio are saying they’re both opting out for longer term deals.

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  3. Why people keep saying how good would be a Kyrie, JB, Kawhi, JT & Horford, cannot see it working at all, JT cannot play the 4 in this league, can you see him matching with AD, Draymond, LMA… don’t really think Boston needs Kawhi, hence why Ainge won’t give up young talent for him, specially as he can bolt the next summer. I keep saying that the best fit for Kawhi is the Clippers cannot see him fitting with Boston, Philly or Lakers, but man Clips make a ton of sense.

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    • kawhi will be fit for bulls. bulls need all star sf. but i dont think kawhi want play for a suck team like that.im bulls fans, but this time bulls is very bad team but have a good future. bulls must proof if they deserve for an all star player like kawhi,irving,pg13, etc.

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    • Leonard makes sense for any team. A player who can shut down another teams best player and still drop 20-25ppg is worth the investigation of a deal. There’s a price to pay for that type of service, and he’s enough of a difference maker to get you a title.

      Let’s look at Boston. One year of Kyrie left with no promises – need to take advantage while you still have him. You swap Brown or Tatum with Leonard and now you have a team that could potentially beat GSW. Then, for argument sake both Irving and Leonard walk. They still have Rozier, Hayward, Brown or Tatum, Horford, and cap room for close to two max contracts.

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  4. Ron Owens

    IF – and it is a BIG IF – Pop trades Kawhi, it won’t be to a WC team unless it is overwhelmingly in the Spurs favor and/or it leaves the receiving team too weak to challenge the Spurs. Anyway, I seriously doubt he trades Kawhi the first of July anyway. Pop is too smart for that. The Spurs don’t have to trade him now or at all. He is under contract. If Kawhi continues to be an ass about an injury that doesn’t exist, then they suspend him until he wises up. Pop isn’t gonna let a player dictate to him and he isn’t going to willingly help create a super team in the West with LeBrat and Kawhi at the Lakers. Either they work it out or he gets traded in October or February.

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  5. Yes, suspending a player you want a return on in within the next 8 months is the wise move. Love it. You need to call Popovich and share said strategy.

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