By Matthew Geagan, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — We knew the Celtics made a trade offer for Kawhi Leonard, but we never really knew what they offered up.
Well, we still don’t, but now at least we know what they weren’t willing to part with for the disgruntled Spurs star.
According to a report by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Romana Shelburne, the Celtics did not offer up any of their five-best players for Leonard. That means no Kyrie Irving, no Gordon Hayward, no Al Horford, and certainly no Jaylen Brown or Jayson Tatum.
Instead, the Celtics offered up a “pick-heavy” package to San Antonio, according to ESPN. While the Spurs probably enjoyed a good laugh at that offer, it’s a smart move by the Celtics. In a unique spot where they can focus on winning now while also building to the future, the C’s would want to add Leonard to their roster rather than gut it for a potential one-year rental. And they certainly have plenty of picks to package, from next year’s Sacramento Kings pick (unless it’s the No. 1 overall pick) to three other potential first rounders in 2019.
The Celtics weren’t alone in sending a pick-heavy offer, either. The Philadelphia 76ers were reportedly unwilling to include Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid or Markelle Fultz in a deal for Leonard, instead offering up their own collection of draft picks.
The Spurs obviously have no interest in trades centered around draft picks, and would like to receive some legit NBA players in exchange for the former Finals MVP. According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, the 76ers and Los Angeles Lakers have both given up in their quest for Kawhi, and the Toronto Raptors have emerged as the favorites to land the shooting guard. The dinosaurs of the north could offer up packages centered around Kyle Lowrie or DeMar DeRozan, both All-Stars, which could be enough to get the Spurs to make a deal.
But for now, Leonard is still an unhappy star in San Antonio. We’ll just have to wait and see if the Spurs let up on their demands, or if another team gets desperate enough to meet them.