Lowe’s Latest: Kawhi, Sixers, Celtics, Scott, More

The Sixers have not made Markelle Fultz available in Kawhi Leonard trade talks with the Spurs, and the Celtics haven’t been willing to include Jaylen Brown in their discussions with San Antonio, ESPN’s Zach Lowe confirms in his latest article.

We’ve heard variations on Lowe’s report for the last week or two, with ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (video link) recently suggesting that the Sixers don’t want to discuss Fultz, Joel Embiid, or Ben Simmons in Leonard talks, and adding that the Celtics’ top five players have been “off-limits” in negotiations with the Spurs — presumably, Woj was referring to Brown, Jayson Tatum, Kyrie Irving, Gordon Hayward, and Al Horford.

Lowe’s full piece on the Leonard situation features several more tidbits of note, including some items only tangentially related to a possible Leonard trade. Let’s round up the highlights…

  • LeBron James isn’t pressuring the Lakers to add a second star for now, according to Lowe, who says that James “has faith in the combined powers of his supernova talent and the Lakers brand.” LeBron also recognizes that Brandon Ingram has considerable upside and is aware that many star free agents could be on the market in 2019, Lowe notes.
  • Lowe classifies rumors that Jimmy Butler and Kyrie Irving want to play together as “credible chatter.” However, the Celtics remain confident that they’ll be able to re-sign Irving next year, per Lowe.
  • Details of Mike Scott‘s contract agreement with the Clippers have yet to surface, but Lowe indicates the deal will use part of the team’s mid-level exception rather than being a minimum-salary signing.
  • Lowe’s piece is worth checking out in full, particularly for a section in which he brainstorms hypothetical wild-card suitors for Leonard, exploring whether the Raptors, Trail Blazers, Wizards, Timberwolves, Thunder, Heat, Rockets, Bucks, Nuggets, Warriors, Pistons, or Kings might be fits — many are quick “no”s, but some generate some intriguing hypothetical deals.
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44 thoughts on “Lowe’s Latest: Kawhi, Sixers, Celtics, Scott, More

  1. hiflew

    How are you going to keep your “top 5” and trade for Kawhi Leonard? Not only that, but if you keep your best 5 players, one of them (probably Brown) is going to end up as a sixth man and presumably will not be happy. Package Brown with Rozier, Morris, and the Kings pick and, if healthy, you might give a challenge to GSW in the finals.

      • justinept

        Ainge flat out trade r*pes desperate teams. It’s how he got KG. It’s how got all the draft picks. And it’s how he got Kyrie. If Ainge can’t find a sucker in the Spurs with his garbage offer, then he’ll find a sucker in someone else.

      • hiflew

        Of course it would be good for the Celtics. But the Celtics don’t just get to do things the way they want. It’s definitely not good for the Spurs. And it would not be good for the odd man out. Being the 6th man will cost you stats and that will cost you money.

        Why not just trade Kawhi to the Warriors for Iguodala? I think they need an upgrade to the 6th man too.

      • hiflew

        Then don’t trade for him and enjoy your trip to the Eastern Conference Finals or maybe the Semis.

        • cakirby

          You do realize they were like a game away from the finals last year without their 2 best players, and against a team that will no longer be very good, right?

    • beantown

      Simple. Kawhi wants to be in LA, he’s got one year remaining, and he’s coming off of a serious injury. That’s a huge dent in his trade value

  2. just my opinion

    “If healthy” they could challenge GS this year they did make it to ECF without Irving (playoffs) or Hayward (whole year) the Celtics who WOULD be even better with Leonard “if healthy” without any doubt however they aren’t in the need to overpay as with Lebron now out west I think the Celtics are probably the favorite to come out if the east as is

    • justinept

      They’re definitely the favorite out East, but everyone is taking two things for granted. 1) Kyrie struggles with healthy. 2) Heyward will be as good as he was pre-injury. Really, it’s no sure thing given how horrifying that injury was.

  3. Ainge said last week not to expect any big moves this year. Kawhi said he doesn’t want Boston. Neither LA or Philadelphia has been willing to include their best players. The Spurs said they want players that will keep them in the playoffs, and are in no hurry to make a bad trade. It only makes sense to see him play before trading him so you know his true value.
    LA, like on George, is saying they don’t want to make a true offer because they can sign him next season. If Kawhi goes to Philadelphia, we’ll see if he changes his mind like George did.

    • What’s really bad is they have Sacramento and the Clippers 1st picks next season. They could have Tatum, Brown, and R.J. Barrett or Cameron Reddick.

        • Need to watch Duke games next year. Four of the top 10 players in the country will be playing for Duke. With the Sacramento pick, Boston should have a shot at one of them. I don’t know if the Clippers pick is protected, it could be another.

          • Celtics have Sacramento pick, top 1 protected, Memphis, top 8 protected, Clippers, top 14 protected, and their own. If they get to use all 4, I can see a good trade coming.

    • bowserhound

      Tired of hearing this compared to PG’s terrible decision to stay in OKC…he stayed for the money point blank.
      As a Laker fan I am ecstatic he did not come to LA.
      No matter what team Kawhi ends up on this season, he will be able to choose ANY team next off-season regardless.

  4. Thronson5

    I think the Lakers end up with Cousins next year if he can get back to form. He’s only on a one year contract and I still think the Lakers end up with Kawhi. I hear all this Lillard talk but I don’t see it happening at all. I don’t see the Blazers wanting to blow things up and definitely don’t see them wanting to help the Lakers. Would absolutely love to get that guy though and he’s on a reasonable contract so the Lakers can still find a way to sign Leonard if they do. For now I’m happy we kept most of your guys and got LeBron though. We basically replaced IT with Rondo, Randle with LeBron, Bryant with McGee and we aren’t done. I think we bring back Lopez still.

    • Z-A

      I dont think the Blazers have any legitimate shot at competing at this point. And they owe a lot of money to Turner, Harkless, Leonard, and soon Nurkic.

  5. Bryzzo2016

    Unless the Cs plan on playing Tatum at the 4 and Horford at the 5, they already have no room for Brown. If they acquire Leonard AND keep Brown, he’ll be buried on the bench. Not to mention, Tatum is clearly a 3 and Horford prefers playing the 4, so why not move Brown, get Leonard and go for it! It’s great to keep stockpiling assets, but Boston is in a position NOW to get to the Finals, especially with Bron in the West. Gotta go for it! And Philly considering Fultz a deal breaker to get Kawhi is comical to me.

    • bigchiefbc

      Because Kawhi is going to gone baby gone next summer. He’s a rental, and giving up Brown for a rental is a terrible move.

      • Connorsoxfan

        Post cousins signing it is. Last week I would’ve said go for it, take a shot at bringing down Golden State, but now screw it.

  6. steve dolan

    Regarding the comment on Irving and Butler wanting to team up next year, if Kyrie is serious about that and he won’t commit to staying in Boston after this season, it’s time to think about a Kyrie trade later this season.
    The Charlotte Hornets have two pending UFAs in 2019 that would make a good trade for Kyrie – Kemba Walker and Jeremy Lamb would fit nicely into the Celts rotation, with Walker the starting point guard and Lamb a backup shooting guard/small forward. I think we may be able to retain one or both if they work out.

    • steve dolan

      PG Kemba Walker pg Rozier pg/sg Smart pg/sg

      SG Brown sg/sd Jeremy Lamb sg/sf Wanamaker

      SF Hayward sg/sf Morris sf/pf Ojeleye sf/pf

      PF Tatum sf/pf Theis pf/c Yabusele pf/c

      C Horford pf/c Baynes c Williams c

  7. formerlyz

    Boston doesnt need to be involved in this unless they somehow could get him for Rozier, Morris, Ojeleye,Yabusele, and picks, which they obviously wouldn’t get him for.

    Philly should 100% be more than willing to offer Fultz. I have a hard time believing that he isnt on the table. I could also see the Spurs being content with their young guards. Its also more likely the Spurs are still holding out hope to resolve this. Maybe letting Tony Parker sign elsewhere helps alleviate issues. Doubtful at this point, but I feel like that’s the hold up between the Spurs and whoever’s offer they like best. This being after the draft makes it a little more difficult to figure out iterations of the potential deal

    • formerlyz

      …and the Lakers should be willing to offer Ingram, Hart plus whatever, and be willing to take Patty Mills if they have to

    • x%sure

      How does Parker have an impact on trading Leonard?

      I agree about Fultz, I think Leonard will stay in Philly but not Boston.

  8. alexmiller6677

    I must be the only C’s fan who wants nothing to do with Kawhi.

    Is he talented? Sure. But let’s lay down the facts, he missed most of last season with a phantom quad injury even his own teammates questioned. His council is not qualified to council business matters, he dogged his current team over petty shit, and there is no guarantee he’s healthy this year.

    People say there isn’t a guarantee Kyrie and Gordon are healthy and that is true, so why add a cancer to your club, give up a bunch of talent, and get one non guaranteed good year?

    If I’m giving up a Brown or Rozier or anyone along that line, it’s for a high character guy who I can sign long term, otherwise the payoff is marginal at best.

    Let’s not forget, the Celtics during the regular season didn’t exactly roll over for the Warriors or anyone else, even when at 50% strength, had they won against Cleveland I guarantee you it wouldn’t have been 4 and out against the Warriors. Do they win? Probably not, but they are a young, hungry, aggressive, defensive club that no one enjoys playing. I’d rather watch them grow further.

  9. Z-A

    Maybe the answer is compensation picks? Lose a superstar get a compensation 1st wedged between the 1st snd 2nd? Or like the MLB you get the other teams 1st but top whatever protected.

  10. Leonard situation getting interesting with his previous agent suing his current agents agency. Also stated in the report that Leonard’s mom and uncle are on that agency’s payroll.

  11. For once I am happy that Philly, rightly doesn’t include Fultz in the trade offer, neither should Simmons, Embiid or Dario. After that they can offer whatever… You have to take the time with Fultz, I don’t see why he cannot be a star in this league still, only a teenager & at the end of the season he looked pretty good to me, can only get better, just wait, if he becomes a bust, which is very doubtful, then that is the moment to trade him, not before. Same for Boston doesn’t make sense give up young guys for Kawhi, also I keep saying time after time, no way Tatum can play the 4 nor Hayward, so I don’t see how it could work, unless you put Hayward on the bench as 6th man, which wouldn’t be smart as he is getting paid 30MM, so cannot see Kawhi fitting in there, in Philly he fits in the place & same roll as RoCo, clearly behind Simmons & Embiid.

  12. x%sure

    From Lowe’s piece:
    “Rival executives sniffing around Leonard have joked they would settle for an Instagram workout video, just to know Leonard is fully ambulatory.”

    Lowe says Spurs are right to ask for Ingram, but the Lakers are right to deny them him.

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