While Leonard’s camp has made it clear the former Defensive Player of the Year prefers Los Angeles and the Lakers, a source close to the situation says the Southern California native is open to playing in other major markets. Leonard’s suboptimal contract extension discussions with Jordan Brand in March signaled the importance of playing in a larger market, and the Spurs star would be open to playing in Boston and New York, the source said.
Well, well, well… this is an intriguing piece of information and, if true, one that changes my level of interest in any potential deal.
Fischer’s story focuses on the 76ers involvement but he touches on Boston, too:
San Antonio has informed teams its preferred target in any Leonard trade is the Celtics’ Jayson Tatum, sources say. Teams have noted this is likely a negotiating tactic, and it’s widely believed in league circles Boston is more likely to propose a deal centered around Kyrie Irving and future picks. But based on previous behavior, the Celtics are unlikely to overpay for Leonard.
Philadelphia’s internal discussions have focused on potential trade packages offering various young players and future draft selections. One team source says preliminary discussions with San Antonio revealed the Spurs have strong interest in a package involving burgeoning forwards Dario Saric and Robert Covington as well as a future first-round pick
Most of the local reporting hints at tepid interest by the Celtics:
And nationally, the takes are pretty hot: