NBA Rumors: Kawhi Leonard Trade Buzz; DeMarcus Cousins and More

Steve Silverman@@profootballboyFeatured ColumnistJuly 1, 2018

The Celtics may not be full-speed ahead in their pursuit of Kawhi Leonard.
The Celtics may not be full-speed ahead in their pursuit of Kawhi Leonard.Eric Gay/Associated Press

The Boston Celtics have been mentioned as one of the top potential landing spots for the San Antonio Spurs'Β Kawhi Leonard.

However, the Celtics may not be so eager to part with their assets in any trade for Leonard. Boston is not sure about Leonard's health after last season's quadriceps injury, and since he is scheduled to become a free agent a year from now, that has enhanced the Celtics' doubts according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.com.

In addition to the C's, the Los Angeles Lakers have been in the discussion to trade for Leonard. However, the Spurs may not be in a hurry to make the deal because they have hopes of repairing their relationship with the player and possibly keeping him for the long term,

Leonard played just nine games in 2017-18, and it was clear that his relationship with San Antonio was not at its best.

However, if that can be repaired, there's a chance Leonard and the Spurs can work toward a max contract that could pay Leonard $219 million.

While there has been much discussion in the media about a potential deal between the Celtics and Spurs for Leonard, Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe tweeted that Jaylen Brown's name has not come up in any discussions.

That is fairly indicative of the slow approach the Celtics are taking with regard to Leonard. He is one of the most talented players in the league, and any team that trades for him is going to have to give up a substantial amount. Brown would seem like a legitimate starting point in any trade talk, especially since it seems unlikely that Boston would trade Jayson Tatum after his sensational rookie year.

The Lakers appear to have an interest in DeMarcus Cousins now that Paul George has committed to staying with the Oklahoma City Thunder.

George made his decision Saturday night, agreeing to a four-year, $137 million deal. The deal was first reported by Wojnarowski.

L.A., among the front-runners to land LeBron James, will consequently target Cousins, per Kevin O'Connor of The Ringer.

The 6'11", 270-pound center was having a sensational season with the New Orleans Pelicans, averaging 25.2 points and 12.9 rebounds per game, before he suffered an Achilles injury in late January.

"I'm going to make the absolute best decision for DeMarcus Cousins," the player said, per Kyle Boone of CBSSports.com. "We'll see what that is. As of right now, I don't really know. I can't answer that. Would I like to go back to New Orleans? I'm very open to that. I love what we created. I love what was created after I went down. I would love to be part of it. But I'm going to do what's best for me, and I feel they'll do the same."

While Cousins expressed a positive attitude toward the Pelicans, his presence could make it easier for the Lakers to sign James. That's because James once referred to Cousins as the best big man in the league.