By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
The Boston Celtics were among several teams, who were interested in Kawhi Leonard when he was a member of the San Antonio Spurs. According to a report from NBC Sports, the team refused to include its best players in a deal for Leonard.
Their best players are Kyrie Irving, Gordon Hayward, Jayson Tatum, and Jaylen Brown. The report says that the Celtics did not give the Spurs a compelling offer.
Hayward, 28, who missed basically the entire season after suffering a gruesome injury in the season opener against the Cleveland Cavaliers, has three more years on his four-year, $127 million deal. Brown, 21, has one-year left on his contract at $5.1 million, as the team holds a 2019 club option for $6.5 million. He also has a qualifying offer of $8.5 million in 2020-21 before becoming a free agent.
Irving, 26, will make $20 million this season. before having a $21.3 million player option for the 2019-20 season. Tatum, 20, will make $6.7 million this season, before having club options for the next two seasons and a qualifying offer in 2021-22.
“A all the reporting from this sort of trickled in, I think the Celtics offered most of their best draft picks,” ESPN’s Zach Lowe said. “I don’t think the Celtics just offered, “You could have a bunch of our picks.” I think some of the picks they own – at least two of the picks, if not all of them – that they own from other teams, including the Kings, Grizzlies and Clippers, I think those were all in the deal.”
The Celtics received the favorable of the Philadelphia 76ers 2019 first-round draft pick. It’s only protected as the No. 1 overall pick. They’ll also receive the Sacramento Kings 2019 first-round draft pick (via Philadelphia) that is also only protected as the No. 1 overall pick. The 76ers will receive the less favorable or the protected of the two picks.
They could also potentially receive a Memphis Grizzlies pitch in 2019. It’s protected from selections 1-8 in 2019, 1-6 in 2020, and unprotected in 2021.
In another deal, the Celtics could receive a first-round draft pick from the Los Angeles Clippers in 2019 if it falls outside of 1-14 in 2019. They could receive it in 2020 if it falls outside of 1-14. Should the pick not be conveyed by 2020, the Clippers would then send their 2022 second-round pick to the Celtics.
It was these picks that Celtics GM Danny Ainge attempted to use to get Leonard without breaking the bank on his future.
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