As free agency approaches, players around the league will be on the move as teams try to put themselves in the best possible position to compete for a championship. Superstar Kawhi Leonard recently stated disinterest with the San Antonio Spurs and would like to be traded. Leonard prefers playing with the Los Angeles Lakers but does not mind playing for the Los Angeles Clippers. Either way, he has made it very known to other teams that he will be going to Los Angeles by the summer of 2019. However that doesn’t stop other teams trying to get their hands on Leonard. One of teams are the Boston Celtics. Leonard would make the Celtics even more of a title contender, however, the Celtics should stay as far away as possible from Leonard.
It might not make sense for the Celtics to not go after Leonard. After all, Leonard is a top 3 player in the league as he provides elite defense and scoring. The Celtics do have the assets required to make a move for Leonard as they have multiple draft picks and players like Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, and Kyrie Irving. Celtics general manager Danny Ainge is very aggressive when it comes to making transactions and he will do whatever is right for the Celtics franchise moving forward. Ainge made a transaction last summer with the Cleveland Cavaliers for Kyrie Irving who had wanted out then. Irving had a list of teams he preferred playing for and the Celtics were not one of them, however, he seems very happy with the Celtics as reports state he is “motivated” to sign an extension with the team. Though Leonard told other teams he wouldn’t re-sign with them by the summer of 2019, the Celtics could still trade for Leonard as he has no power of where he goes.
Trading for Leonard would be very risky for the Celtics as they already have a team that could contend for the title. The Celtics were only one win away from making the NBA Finals as they lost to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference Finals. Keep in mind that both Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward were out with season ending injuries. If Irving and Hayward had both played, the Celtics would most likely have made it to the NBA Finals. The team is already a title contender so it doesn’t make sense to trade for Leonard who had just recently told teams not named the Lakers and Clippers that he would not re-sign with them. The Spurs are asking for a lot in return for Leonard so if the Celtics were to make this trade happen, they’d most likely give away players like Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, or even superstar Kyrie Irving. If they lost all those key players for nothing, it’d set the Celtics drastically behind.
The Celtics should use their assets correctly as they could get players like Anthony Davis, Jimmy Butler, or even DeMarcus Cousins. It doesn’t make any sense for the Celtics to trade away their young and talented players for someone who doesn’t have interest in re-signing after this year. On top of that, Leonard is coming off a quad injury that forced him to miss 73 games last season. Nobody knows how Leonard will play next year as trading for him would be too risky. The Celtics have a team in place and they should only be trying to add talent without subtracting too much. It’s a risky move as it could put the team in a bad position moving forward.