Atlantic Notes: Kawhi, Fultz, Celtics, Nets

Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich raised some eyebrows on Saturday when he said that Kawhi Leonard wasn’t a “leader” in San Antonio, with veterans like Manu Ginobili and Patty Mills assuming that role instead. While Popovich acknowledged that Leonard was a great player, he suggested that “leadership wasn’t his deal at the time.”

Responding to those comments on Sunday night, Leonard pushed back, telling reporters – including Josh Lewenberg of TSN Sports (Twitter links) – that he leads by example with the Raptors, as he did for the Spurs.

“It’s just funny to me,” Leonard said of Popovich’s comments. “I don’t know if he’s talking about last year or not. I guess when you stop playing they forget how you lead… It doesn’t matter. I’m here with the Raptors and I’m focused on the season and not what’s going on on the other side.”

Here’s more from around the Atlantic:

  • The Sixers won’t be providing an update on Markelle Fultz today, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Keith Pompey of (Twitter links). As Woj and Pompey explain, Fultz is now scheduled to see multiple specialists this week in New York, so there likely won’t be any decisions made on his next steps until the latter part of the week.
  • Within an in-depth piece on the Celtics‘ struggles, Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer writes, “Most executives expect the trade winds to stay quiet, and there are few players who would realistically be available who would be upgrades for Boston.” President of basketball operations Danny Ainge has essentially said as much publicly, as we detailed earlier today.
  • With Caris LeVert sidelined indefinitely, Spencer Dinwiddie and D’Angelo Russell have been developing chemistry together as the Nets‘ lead guards, writes Peter Botte of The New York Post. LeVert remains perhaps the most important long-term piece in Brooklyn’s backcourt, but the knowledge that Dinwiddie and Russell can succeed together would give the team more options next summer, when both players will become free agents.
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17 thoughts on “Atlantic Notes: Kawhi, Fultz, Celtics, Nets

    • brian214

      I mean, c’mon, try being a little realistic. If that was enough then I’m proposing Fultz for Jrue. If Boston gets to take advantage of New Orleans then Philly should be able to as well.

    • kenly0

      How about Solomon Hill and the Pels pick for Tatum? Sounds ridiculous, right?

    • tatumszn2018

      Way the Celts look, their pick might be the most valuable of the 4 they have. That Kings pick will probably be 10-14 perhaps even late lotto if they swing a game changing trade.

      • Luckylefty2

        It’s early. Guarantee you will be saying something different come April.

    • imindless

      Lakers can offer more and better pieces. Kuzma, 1st and zubac and depending on if the see fit lonzo.

      • brian214

        Is this in response to the above trade proposals? You do realize nobody is taking their ideas serious, right? Try to keep up kid if you want to hang with the adults. (BTW, none of the pieces you mentioned are worth anything when dealing for s superstar, including a guy that can sometimes score in bunches but plays no D).

  1. alltime

    I wonder how many specialists Fultz will have to see before he and his agent find one to bribe to say he’s been dealing with an injury all season.

  2. Ptn18

    The worry is if Fultz’s attorney (agent) decides to invoke the NBA Disabled Player clause, that it could end up in court.

  3. x%sure

    Sell high on Levert. Russell, Dinwiddie, & Harris are your top 3, injury history included.
    It’s good Russell & Dinwiddie talked it up on the court & scored 69 points yesterday. I haven’t actually seen that combo yet, but it’s easy to speculate Russell has more freedom to be up & down & #1 with Dinwiddie there.

    • andremets

      The Nets don’t have a top 3. They’ll get a pick in the 7-10 range come June and still be looking for the first piece of their top3. Worst franchise in the nba by a lot.

  4. x%sure

    Kawhi is neither leader nor follower. Pops could have added that he has his own head to maintain as his main job, instead. But except for last year I think he succeeds at that and is a role model for effort.

  5. steve dolan

    I’ve read a suggestion that in order for a trade for Anthony Davis to happen, Irving would have to be traded first. I get it – Rose Rule.
    Then it was suggested he go to Sacramento.
    Who on earth would the Kings be able to offer for Irving ?

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