Boston, MA - San Antonio Spurs forward and All-NBA player Kawhi Leonard is on the trading block and a couple familiar teams might be in the mix to land the high caliber player. Both the Los Angeles Lakers and the Boston Celtics are said to be in the mix for a trade with the Spurs for Leonard, but it remains to be seen if both teams are interested.
The Lakers are actively engaging the Spurs in trade discussions for the former Defensive Player of the Year for a plethora of reasons. For one, Paul George, a once safe bet to sign with L.A., is no longer a guarantee and the Lakers believe that acquiring Leonard would help sway impending free agent LeBron James to join the team.
Conversely, the Spurs are much more interested in the Boston Celtics because while the Lakers have a great deal of young talent and draft rights that they could package for Leonard, the Celtics are said to have the ideal assets for San Antonio, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.
However, while the Lakers would jump at the chance to have Kawhi join the team, the Celtics are bit more skeptical and they are acting with caution. Names like Kyrie Irving and Jaylen Brown have been floated in the trade discussions, but it is not necessarily a trade Danny Ainge feels the need to make, especially when there are much fewer question marks regarding Irving and Brown as opposed to Leonard, who brings uncertainty in terms of both his health and his desire to play. Having been absent for a large portion of the season, Boston is right to be skeptical in regards to whether or not Kawhi is going to be as good as he once was when he returns.
While the Lakers feel a sense of urgency to push the trade through as quick as possible, Boston is much more comfortable biding its time. The Spurs, on the other hand, have a vested interest in repairing relations with their star player because he could undoubtedly be an asset to their championship aspirations. Were he to be moved to Los Angeles, though, another super team could be brewing in the Western Conference.