7:58pm: The Lakers haven’t offered Ingram in any deals, Tania Ganguli of The Los Angeles Times tweets. She subsequently clarified that this doesn’t preclude them from being willing to include him if push came to shove.
12:58pm: The Celtics are taking a “conservative” approach in talks with the Spurs and have yet to discuss Jaylen Brown, tweets Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe.
12:12pm: The Lakers are willing to include Brandon Ingram and a future first-round pick in a package for Leonard, according to Wojnarowski, who hears from league sources that the Spurs want a “far more complete haul” of young players and picks.
Meanwhile, Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe (Twitter link) continues to hear that a Celtics trade for Leonard remains unlikely, given all the question marks related to his health and contract situation. Boston hasn’t received any assurances from Kawhi that he’d want to be a Celtic, tweets Mark Murphy of The Boston Herald.
11:15am: According to Sam Amick of USA Today (via Twitter), “rumblings of a Godfather Lakers offer” for Leonard have other teams wondering if they have any realistic chance to land the two-time Defensive Player of the Year.
10:39am: As recently as last week, Spurs general manager R.C. Buford was telling reporters that the club still hoped to smooth things over with Kawhi Leonard and keep the star forward on the roster. However, San Antonio’s stance appears to be evolving.
According to Marc Stein of The New York Times (via Twitter), league sources are saying that the Spurs are “ready” to move on from Leonard. Stein cautions that the team’s apparent willingness to deal doesn’t mean that San Antonio will send Leonard to the Lakers or any other team within the next day or two. However, it appears to be a major shift if the Spurs’ thinking.
The Spurs are currently “fully engaged” in Leonard trade talks with a number of teams, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter). Wojnarowski identifies the Lakers and Celtics as two clubs very much involved in those discussions, adding that Boston has the assets that the Spurs covet most in a potential swap.
Even if the Celtics refuse to include Jayson Tatum in an offer for Leonard, they have multiple young players that could appeal to San Antonio, including Jaylen Brown and Terry Rozier. Adding Marcus Smart via a sign-and-trade could also be a possibility, and the C’s are loaded with future first-round picks, including the Kings’ 2019 first-rounder (top-1 protected).
Still, when Steve Bulpett of The Boston Herald addressed the Leonard situation on Wednesday evening, he suggested that the Celtics and Spurs hadn’t gotten anywhere in their discussions so far. Per Bulpett, the Celtics would want assurances that Leonard’s quad injury is healed and that he’d be willing to stay in Boston for more than one year. Without those assurances, it’s hard to imagine the C’s offering the kind of significant package the Spurs will be seeking.
Multiple reports from ESPN on Wednesday indicated that the Lakers are feeling some pressure to finalize a Leonard trade as soon as possible, since landing Kawhi could give the team the strong upper hand in the LeBron James sweepstakes. While the Spurs are under no obligation to adhere to the Lakers’ preferred timeline, rival suitors could feel compelled to increase their offers for the star forward if they sense that the Lakers are going all in.
The Sixers, Clippers, and Cavaliers are among the other teams known to have inquired on Leonard’s availability, though the Clips and Cavs may lack the young players necessary to put together a tempting offer.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.