Report: Kawhi Headed to the East – Where Could He End Up?

Oct 14, 2015; Atlanta, GA, USA; San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich greets forward Kawhi Leonard (2) as he walk to the bench in the third quarter of their game against the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena. The Hawks won 100-86. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Petty.

Coach Pop and RC Buford are being petty. Or maybe Kawhi is being petty? I’m not totally sure who, but someone is being petty.

Recently, Sam Amick reported that the Spurs are telling Western Conference teams to kick rocks.

Looks like they want to send their superstar East to avoid making a Western foe better. Perhaps they are using this as a smokescreen in order to make a certain Western team up their offer? Yeah, that sounds right. There is no possible way that the Spurs, one of the smartest franchises in sports, would do anything less than accept the best offer possible. For now, however, let us take the Spurs for their word, and see where Kawhi could end up in the East.

The Frontrunner – Philadelphia 76ers

This makes too much sense. Philly has the assets to make this trade and still contend in the future. Embiid, Simmons and Kawhi can turn the Sixers into legitimate contenders, especially if they bring back Redick. They can surrender some assets and still retain some as well. What is the trade formula? Get ready for some physics level NBA Math.

Bayless Expiring + Fultz + Asset(s) = Kawhi on your team

Essentially, Philly gives San Antonio a large expiring, Fultz, and a combination of assets to make the salary match. They can throw in the unprotected 2021 pick from Miami to grease the palms even more. What assets can the Spurs pick from?

sixers-assets.png

I’m not a gambling man, but I’d bet on Kawhi landing here. What’s more, landing Kawhi could entice LeBron to take a closer look at Philly…

Never count out Danny Ainge – Boston Celtics

Reports have come out that Danny Ainge will be very hesitant when exploring about acquiring Kawhi. Yet, the Celtics’ GM always has one goal on his mind: Bringing Banner 18 to Boston. There is a case to be made about acquiring the 2x DPOY if he will only leave after a one year stint. Still, a lineup of Kawhi, Kyrie, Hayward, Tatum, Horford, (maybe) Smart, Theis, Williams and (maybe) Baynes would be the Eastern favorite, if not the title favorite in general.

Ready for another trade formula?

Jaylen Brown + Marcus Morris Expiring + cap filler + draft pick (s) = The Claw in Green

Could this trade, plus a combo of future picks from Memphis, LAC and the Celtics, bring Kawhi to Boston? More importantly, would it bring a title?!

celtics assets.PNG

If he wants to go to New York anyways… – New York Knicks

It has been rumored that Kawhi’s camp wants him to go to New York when he is a free agent. Why? The Big Apple is a major market where Kawhi can build his brand. Do the Knicks have the assets to do it?

Asset(s) + Kanter and Mudiays’ Expirings + future pick = New York Kawhis

Is this too much for the Knicks to surrender? Maybe not. Kawhi and Kristaps would be a deadly combo that could attract another star to come onboard via free agency. They would need to stretch Noah and find a way to shed Hardaway’s contract but, these things are doable. Still, New York would need a wink-wink guarantee from Kawhi to make this happen. The trade:

knicks assets.PNG

Not gonna happen – Cleveland Cavaliers

Let’s just get this over with.

Asset(s) + Love + A Miracle = One More Year of LeBron in Cleveland

Go through this list. Put some assets together and see what doesn’t make you want to throw up. Simply put, the Spurs will get better offers.

cavs assets.PNG

Dark horse that is NOT going to happen but fun to talk about anyways – Brooklyn

Am I the only one who forgets New York has two teams? Kawhi has shown interest in the Mecca of Basketball and could be enticed by BKN’s future cap space. Speaking of which…Brooklyn can send San Antonio north of 40 million dollars in expiring money. They also (finally) have their future first round picks back! This would be a total rebuild move for the Spurs, but something could look like this.

TONS of Expirings + Young Asset(s) + picks = A gamble on Kawhi

nets assets

Where do you think Kawhi goes? @mattesposito_ @hoopsprovider

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