We are now almost two weeks removed from the final game of the NBA season. Teams are now transitioning into offseason mode. What that means is teams are gearing up for the NBA draft, and more importantly, free agent signings. With all of that, comes a great deal of speculation on where stars are going to end up. Last seasons free agent period was one of the most hectic in recent memory. So get the popcorn ready because there will be many more rumors this offseason.
Breaking Down Kawhi To the Celtics:
Kawhi Leonard has recently demanded a trade out of San Antonio. Despite the Celtics having many versatile players on their roster, many believe that Kawhi could possibly be headed to Boston due to a few things. The two things being that one, Danny Ainge made a call right before the trade deadline last season asking the Spurs about a possible trade to acquire Kawhi Leonard, and two the Celtics have a plethora of assets and are never truly afraid to make a move.
Kawhi has stated that his preferred destination resides in Los Angeles, but could he possibly be headed to the Boston Celtics instead?
Before we dive into this trade rumor we are going to run through some of Kawhi’s statistics as a Spur. Leonard is now headed into his eighth year in the league. He is averaging 66 games played per season (not counting his 2017-18 campaign where he played just nine) and has had trouble with injuries as of late. Every season where he has played more than nine games he has improved his offensive statistics.
For his career, he averages 16.3 points, 6.2 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.8 steals per game. He is one of the best two-way players in the game today and when healthy is a top 10 talent in the game overall. He is now approaching 27-years old and is looking for superstar money due to his increase in statistics year to year.
The Pro’s of the Celtics trading for Leonard:
In today’s NBA, the better teams have multiple star players on their rosters. The Boston Celtics have both star players and great youth. If the Celtics were to trade a few different pieces that they have acquired over the years, assuming that Gordon Hayward, Jayson Tatum and Kyrie Irving are all out of the trade package that will be sent to the Spurs in a hypothetical deal, they would have what would seem like a star at every position and would have to be the favorite to win the Eastern Conference.
If the Celtics land Kawhi, they will get a top 10 player in the league when healthy. They will also get a player who can guard all five positions and has a seven-foot-three inch wingspan to do so. Leonard is a two time defensive player of the year, an NBA Champion, and an NBA Finals MVP. He knows how to win, and fits well in the Celtics defensive-minded scheme that Brad Stevens has implemented.
Kawhi has expressed his interest in going to play for the Los Angeles Lakers during this offseason. With those already being aired out, would the Celtics be willing to take a shot on a one-year rental? As much as Tatum and Brown have matured in their NBA careers, this Boston Celtics team is still extremely young. It is unfair to put them in the category of a win now team. It would not make sense for them to get rid of young talent to make room for Kawhi and his possible one year in bean town.
If they were somehow not able to get rid of Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Kyrie Irving or Gordon Hayward when acquiring Kawhi, they would create a logjam at small forward. That logjam could possibly stunt the NBA growth of both Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.
The final thing is that the Celtics aren’t really in search of another Small forward. For the immediate future, the Celtics have Kyrie Irving, Gordon Hayward, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Al Horford in their starting lineup. The one weakness that they have is they are looking for a big man to match other teams’ rotations. Daniel Theis has been a very versatile big man for the Celtics and Aron Baynes has been serviceable, but they need someone who can rebound the ball, as well as be versatile enough to guard multiple positions. If the Celtics could get a big man to secure the boards, they could be a force running deep into the playoffs.
Featured image from CelticsSocial.com.
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