The Boston Celtics are the clubhouse leader to acquire disgruntled star Kawhi Leonard who reportedly wants out of San Antonio. But at what cost? Obviously the Celtics – or any team for that matter – would benefit from having the All-Star forward but the asking price for what could amount to a one year rental will be steep. And there will be riots in Boston should General Manager Danny Ainge overpay for a player who bolts after one season.
Basketball Analyst Jeff Goodman sat down with guest Doug Gottlieb on the Good N’ Plenty podcast on CLNS Media and said there’s only so much he would do as the Celtics in a potential Leonard deal.
“The team that can do the most is certainly the Boston Celtics and Danny Ainge,” said Goodman. “They’ve got everything at their disposal, [including] young players, proven superstars, [and] they’ve got picks. [But] there is no way in hell I’m parting with a Jayson Tatum no matter what the asking price, unless it’s maybe Anthony Davis.”
Goodman would however consider dealing the other half of the Celtics “Jay-squad” Jaylen Brown, but he’d need some assurances from the Spurs.
“I would do Jaylen Brown and the Sacramento pick for Kawhi Leonard [along with other pieces to match salary] in a heartbeat. I would [do that] as long as you get enough medical info and also you have to make sure that he will sign beyond the year. That’s the other key. You can’t roll the dice like Oklahoma City did with Paul George, without some sort of indication that he will stick in Boston long term.”
It’s tough to know where Leonard’s head is at these days. He missed almost the entire season with a mysterious quad injury and didn’t like how the team handled the injury and his recovery process. Goodman says after what transpired in San Antonio last season he is concerned with both Leonard’s physical and emotional well-being.
“The hard part for the Spurs is that Kawhi’s value has always been really high, [but] now it’s probably at the lowest it’s ever been. And it’s because of the physical. And now the one thing we question with Kawhi Leonard we never questioned before is the emotional part of it. The part upstairs because what has he always been known for? Playing hard, all about the team, low maintenance, all of that. And now people are questioning, well, are the people around him putting things in his head to kind of factor into that?”