Eastern Notes: Celtics, Heat, Sixers, Hornets, Nets

The Celtics figure to be one the primary suitors for Kawhi Leonard if the Spurs make him available this summer, but it won’t be easy for Boston to determine what sort of pieces to offer, writes Zach Lowe of ESPN.com. Currently, the Celtics’ roster combines veterans like Gordon Hayward, Al Horford, and Kyrie Irving with young, up-and-coming stars like Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, potentially opening up a very long window of title contention for the franchise.

While most pundits would argue that surrendering Brown and multiple first-rounders in a deal for Leonard is a no-brainer, such a deal “tilts Boston more toward the present,” Lowe writes. Lowe also explores whether Brown has the upside to become a Leonard-type player in the long run, arguing that the Celtics would have reason to be wary of giving up 2016’s third overall pick — especially without any long-term assurances from Kawhi.

Meanwhile, Sean Deveney of The Sporting News explores the Leonard situation and notes that the Spurs have heard from multiple “serious suitors,” including the Celtics, Cavaliers, and Sixers. However, executives who spoke to Deveney don’t anticipate a Kawhi deal being made before or during the draft.

Here’s more from around the Eastern Conference:

  • The Heat will be over the cap this summer, but can still be involved in free agency. Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald examines the scenarios in which Miami could afford to add a free agent or two, and identifies a few potential targets for the club.
  • Texas Tech wing Zhaire Smith said today that the Sixers wanted to work out him for a second time in order to take a closer look at his shooting and ball-handling development, tweets Jake Fischer of SI.com. The No. 10 pick may be a little high for Smith, who may not last until Philadelphia’s next pick at No. 26, but the club has explored trade options, so he shouldn’t be ruled out as a potential target.
  • Scott Fowler of The Charlotte Observer lays out the case for why the Hornets were eager to get rid of veteran center Dwight Howard. Charlotte is reportedly finalizing a trade with Brooklyn that will send Howard to the Nets.
  • The Nets worked out a large number of early entrant prospects who ultimately ended up withdrawing from the draft and going back to school. Net Income of NetsDaily explains how those auditions could pay off for the team in the long run.
newest oldest

5 thoughts on “Eastern Notes: Celtics, Heat, Sixers, Hornets, Nets

  1. Tilt them to the present? Isn’t the idea to win championships? Their in their window with or without this trade (KI and Hayward should be in their prime, and Horford is toward the end of his prime). KL fits with the KI/Hayward time line. If KL were acquired without giving up Brown, would Brown even get the minutes to develop? What happens in a year or so when he needs to be paid? You’d have 4 other guys making over 30 mm at that point, and Tatum up the following year. Use KI instead? There’s a case, but that really weakens the starting unit. Use Hayward instead? No reason for SA to even want him with his current contract, let alone relinquish KL for him. Horford is a combination, SA wouldn’t accept him as comp, and it would weaken the team more than losing Brown.

  2. x%sure

    Mr. Fowler is correct. Cody Zeller will be rim-running throughout the next year; Dwight and whoever guards him needed to be moved out of his way. Also Kemba would like some screens to work with, and ownership would like to be able to use the MLE without a luxury tax for a coach class record. Clear

  3. bennyg

    Philly looking closely at Zhaire Smiths shooting…..
    How’d that pan out with Fultz?!

  4. Personally I wouldn’t swap JB for Kawhi, I know right now Kawhi is the better player, but you cannot give up your future for 1 year rental, Kawhi isn’t that good for that, maybe for a superstar like LBJ, AD, Giannis… you could consider it.

    • acarneglia

      You don’t think Kawhi is a superstar? Multiple time All Star and DPOTY, All NBA team guy. But not a superstar? Are you high?

Leave a Reply