Rumor: Some people with Celtics regret not pulling trigger on Kawhi Leonard trade
The Boston Celtics were heavily involved in Kawhi Leonard trade discussions last summer, but it was the Toronto Raptors who came away with the Leonard prize. The Raptors are now two wins away from their first-ever NBA title, while the Celtics were one of the league’s biggest disappointments and could be on the verge of losing Kyrie Irving.
Given everything that has happened, there are reportedly some within the Celtics organization who regret not making the trade for Leonard, according to Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix on the latest The Crossover podcast. Mannix claims Boston could’ve had Leonard in a deal featuring Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart as the centerpieces going to the San Antonio Spurs (h/t to Yahoo Sports):
“I do know that there is some regret with some people in the Celtics organization about not pulling the trigger on a Kawhi Leonard deal,” Mannix said. “They could have made a deal for him involving Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart, or at least with Brown as the centerpiece.”
It’s unclear what else may have been on the table along with Brown and Smart. The Spurs certainly may have liked this offer and been willing to make a deal with the Celtics, but ultimately getting another proven star in DeMar DeRozan to help compete might have wound up being a bigger priority for the franchise.
Whatever the case, Boston is now grappling with what to do regarding its Anthony Davis pursuit. Mannix says the Celtics are still going full steam ahead with this pursuit, but it’s hard to see them truly going all in if Irving walks.