Published: Sun, June 17, 2018
Sport | By Floyd Cook

Utah Jazz alumni: Could Boston trade Gordon Hayward for Kawhi Leonard?

Utah Jazz alumni: Could Boston trade Gordon Hayward for Kawhi Leonard?

He apparently has his eye on Los Angeles, more specifically the Lakers, even if it means foregoing his right to a five-year, $217 million "supermax" contract by leaving the Spurs. As a result, the Lakers can put together an attractive trade offer for Leonard.

Leonard, who turns 27 later this month, has been the subject of trade speculation for months after last season produced extensive tension between him and the team over the handling of his quadriceps tendinopathy, which limited Leonard to just nine games, during which he averaged 16.2 points and 4.7 rebounds. The package the Spurs would most likely take is Dario Saric, Robert Covington, Markelle Fultz, their 10th overall pick, and their 2019 1st round pick.

Such a move would likely appease Utah Jazz fans seeking poetic justice for Hayward's decision to burn the Jazz, but the reality is that it's nearly certainly not going to happen.

One consideration that will make the Cavaliers and any other team think before they pull the trigger on such a deal is Leonard's status beyond next year.

For the Spurs, they are in unfamiliar territory as the NBA's model franchise.

Is it possible? Sure.

Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving left and his teammates pause for a moment of silence for victims of the Las Vegas concert shooting prior to the team's NBA preseason basketball game against the Charlotte Hornets in Boston. (AP
NBA trade rumors: Spurs' Kawhi Leonard wants out of San Antonio

And there's no need for the Celtics to feel a need to move Hayward for him due to their positions. Could Kawhi Leonard potentially be that name? That's further backed up by the fact that head coach Brad Stevens, Hayward's former college coach, will nearly surely fight to ensure he's retained. They're ready to start winning now, and could use a player like Kawhi to start doing that.

The Spurs will surely want more than just that first overall pick for Leonard.

However, things don't look really bad for the Spurs.

His hefty salary would be the first major obstacle that would halt such a deal, but there are plenty of reasons beyond that. Leonard is better than Irving, so perhaps it's time for the Suns to strike now, when they're armed with assets and an opportunity to trade for a transcendent player.

Instead, if the C's are successful in achieving such a goal, plan on Hayward and Kawhi suiting up as teammates for the 2018-19 season.

More news: Duke and Duchess of Sussex join Queen’s birthday parade

Like this: