Reports: SA trade demands could scuttle trade options for Kawhi

Danny Ainge and the Boston Celtics might be the best remaining trade option for the Spurs should San Antonio move All-Star Kawhi Leonard. But whether they can make that happen appears still very much in question.Speaking on the Los Angeles Lakers’ channel on Spectrum SportsNet earlier this week, NBA insider and salary cap expert Larry Coon reported extreme trade demands from the Spurs put the Celtics ahead of the Los Angeles Lakers, who aren’t willing to implode the existing roster around LeBron James to add Leonard, who is one season away from free agency.Coon reported the Spurs asked the Lakers for Josh Hart, Kyle Kuzma and Brandon Ingram — all first-round picks in 2016 or ’17 — in addition to two future first-round picks for Leonard and a draft pick.The nature of Leonard’s demand and reported interest in playing in Los Angeles would appear to limit the leverage of the Spurs.What’s more, while Ainge said the Celtics always “explore every trade,” he was tepid in his remarks about chasing Leonard. Yahoo Sports reported Wednesday that the move was still a possibility based largely on Ainge’s history, but doubted Leonard’s interest in such a move.Ainge has pulled off major trades many times before, including deals for Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen, and last offseason landing point guard Kyrie Irving from the Cleveland Cavaliers.But Ainge might already have a title contender, especially with James in the Western Conference. The Celtics advanced to the Eastern Conference finals with Irving and Gordon Hayward out because of injuries.”I feel great that we have a lot of players that people like and want,” Ainge said. “That’s a great feeling to have. That’s not always the case, and that’s the reason we like our guys, too, is we have a lot of talent on our team. I’m excited about our team going forward.”

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