Boston Celtics

Report: Celtics made a trade offer to Spurs for Kawhi Leonard

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Report: Celtics made a trade offer to Spurs for Kawhi Leonard

LeBron James' free-agent decision is the biggest storyline of the summer.

But Kawhi Leonard's future with the Spurs is probably a close second.

On Wednesday morning, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski took inventory of the situation.

One detail that is sure to create some dialogue:

The Boston Celtics made a trade offer to San Antonio before the February deadline, but the Spurs turned it down -- and never made a counterproposal, league sources said.

San Antonio wasn't willing to discuss deals for Leonard in February. So far this spring, the Spurs remain resistant to trades.

Hmmmmmmm...

[LISTEN: Subscribe to the Warriors Outsiders Podcast with Drew Shiller and Grant Liffmann]

If the Celtics simply stand pat this summer -- and Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward return to full health -- the Celtics are going to be awesome next season.

In fact, at this very second, they probably are the biggest threat to a Warriors three-peat. 

But Celtics GM Danny Ainge may decide to make another blockbuster deal and go "all in."

It feels like around this time every year we say "this summer is going to the craziest summer in NBA history."

But seriously -- this summer is going to be the craziest summer in NBA history...

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller

LeBron leads Cavs to Game 7 victory in Boston, another Finals berth

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LeBron leads Cavs to Game 7 victory in Boston, another Finals berth

BOSTON -- With another Game 7 victory at stake, LeBron James would not miss. He would not sit out. And he would not be denied an eighth straight trip to the NBA Finals.

The four-time league MVP scored 35 points with 15 rebounds and nine assists on Sunday night, leading the Cleveland Cavaliers to an 87-79 win over the Celtics and eliminating Boston from the Eastern Conference finals in the decisive seventh game.

In the first close game of the series - and the lowest-scoring - James played all 48 minutes and had 12 of his points in the fourth quarter for his sixth straight Game 7 win.

The NBA Finals begin Thursday at either Houston or Golden State. The Rockets host the seventh game of the West finals on Monday night.

Jayson Tatum scored 24, Al Horford scored 17 and Marcus Morris added 14 points with 12 rebounds for the Celtics, who were looking to return to the NBA Finals for the first time since 2010.

Tatum had a dunk over James with 6:41 left - and stared down the Cavaliers star and bumped him with his chest - and then followed it with a 3-pointer that gave the Celtics a 72-71 lead. But that would be Boston's last basket for more than five minutes while Cleveland went on a 15-2 run to put the game away.

James and Horford embraced after the buzzer, then the Cavaliers donned NBA Finals hats and Eastern conference championship shirts before shuffling off the court to receive their trophy.

It's not the one they want.

James has been in the finals every year since 2011 - four with Miami, and now four straight with Cleveland.

This might be his weakest supporting cast year.

He had to do it without Kevin Love - Cleveland's only other all-star - who sustained a concussion in Game 6 and was replaced in the lineup by Jeff Green. Making his first start since the first-round opener against Indiana, Green scored 19 points and added eight rebounds - the star of James' starless supporting cast.

The Celtics have had more time to get used to their injuries: Gordon Hayward has been out since the first game of the season, and Kyrie Irving has been sidelined since March. With the rookie Tatum and second-year Jaylen Brown, Boston established itself as the team of the future in the East.

But the present still belongs to James.

And, for now, that means Cleveland, too.

ADMIRING HIS WORK

The Celtics led by as many as 12 points in the first half, and they had a 51-47 lead midway through the third quarter when James hit a long 3-pointer and then Green made a 3 of his own. James hit Tristan Thompson for an alley-oop to give Cleveland a 55-51 lead, but then James threw the ball away and sent Terry Rozier off on a fast break.

James tracked the Celtics guard from the far sideline, timing his attack. When Rozier went up for the lay-in, James blocked it off the backboard and right to Green. James did not run back down the court, resting up while Green drew a foul at the other end and made one free throw to give the Cavaliers their biggest lead of the game.

TIP-INS

Cavaliers: Shot just 2 of 17 from 3-point range in the first half, making three of their first 22 shots from long range before James and Green connected on back-to-back attempts midway through the third quarter.

Celtics: Paul Pierce, whose number was retired by the Celtics this season, cheered the team on from courtside. ... Rapper 21 Savage was also at the game. ... Boston was 7 for 39 from 3-point range, with Rozier missing all 10 of his attempts.

LeBron, Cavs force Game 7 in East Finals vs Celtics

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LeBron, Cavs force Game 7 in East Finals vs Celtics

CLEVELAND -- LeBron James chose Boston as the place he'll play next.

Game 7 is on. And any talk about James' future is on hold.

James scored 46 points and preserved his reign atop the Eastern Conference for at least one more game as the Cleveland Cavaliers shook off losing All-Star Kevin Love with a head injury and beat Boston 109-99 on Friday night to force a decisive climax to this back-and-forth series.

James, playing in perhaps his final game for the Cavs in Cleveland, delivered another sensational performance - he added 11 rebounds and nine assists while playing all but two minutes - to avoid elimination and delay any decisions about where he'll continue his remarkable career next season.

"Greatness," Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said. "Gave it his all. We needed that, especially with Kevin going down. He delivered. He carried us home as usual."

The king is not dead, and he still has a chance to make his eighth straight NBA Finals.

"It feels good just to be able to play for another game," James said. "Like I've always said, Game 7 is the best two words in sports. ... We should relish the opportunity and have fun with it."

This series, in which home court has meant everything, will have a fitting conclusion Sunday at TD Center, where the Celtics are 10-0 this postseason.

"We have one game to be able to compete for a championship, and what more could you ask for?" James said. "If I'd have told you at the beginning of the season we only needed one game to make the NBA Finals, we'd take it."

George Hill added 20 points, and Jeff Green 14 for the Cavs, who lost Love in the first quarter after he banged heads with Boston's Jayson Tatum.

Terry Rozier paced the Celtics with 28 points, and Jaylen Brown had 27.

The Celtics were still within seven in the final three minutes before James made consecutive 3-pointers, punctuating the second by pounding his chest with both fists and screaming along with 20,562 others.

Just for good measure, he added a three-point play and then was taken out of the game to a rousing ovation and chants of "Cavs in 7!"

"Just a lot of heart, a lot of grit, being resilient," James said.

Boston's improbable run through the postseason without injured stars Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward will now take the Celtics back home, where they play with more intensity, togetherness and before fans hungry to see an 18th title banner raised to their arena's rafters.

Love went out with a head injury in the first quarter, forcing Lue to juggle his rotations and keep James on the floor longer than he wanted to. The three-time champion played the first 35 minutes without a break and then endured the final eight while nursing a sore lower leg.

Backed by a sea of towel-waving fans wearing white "Cleveland Whatever It Takes" T-shirts, James did just that to push the series to Boston, where he has had some of his biggest moments on the renowned parquet floor.

In 2014, he had 45 points, 15 rebounds and five assists in Game 6 for Miami, which went on to win Game 7 and the NBA title. He also scored 45 in a Game 7 loss for Cleveland in 2008, and now has a chance to boost his stunning resume further if he can get the Cavs to a fourth consecutive Finals.

James has also had some bitter memories in Boston. He lost Game 6 in the East semifinals in 2010 to the Celtics and was soon on his way to joining the Heat.

The game began ominously for the Cavs as Love was forced to leave following his violent collision with Tatum.

Love and Tatum were away from the ball and didn't see each other until it was too late. They banged heads and both immediately dropped to the floor with Love raising his left arm as if to signal he needed help.

As Love stayed down, the Cavs huddled around him. He was helped off and walked to the bench unsteadily before heading to the locker room for further treatment and evaluation.

The Cavs announced an hour later at halftime that Love wouldn't return. His status for Game 7 is uncertain.

The real possibility that James was playing his last game in Cleveland hung over the game - and this city - in the hours leading to tip-off. Everyone had an opinion on what James will do next and that discussion filled the sports talk radio airwaves, bars and barber shops.

The 33-year-old has said several times since coming home in 2014 that he wants to retire with the Cavaliers, but fans are uneasy because he can opt out of his $35.6 million contract this summer and test free agency.

And, of course, he left once before in 2010, bolting for Miami.

James has said he'll sit down with his family after the season ends to plot his next move, and he's already being courted in Philadelphia, Los Angeles and New York who can only dream about adding him to their rosters.

For now, though, he's only going to Boston.

TIP-INS

Celtics: Own a 37-0 record when leading a series 2-0. ... Dropped to 1-4 in Game 6s over the last four postseasons. ... Coach Brad Stevens praised James for his consistency, and ability to exceed expectations. "Nobody else has what he has on his shoulders playing the game," he said. "I think that the way in which he's done that and all of the years now that he's made The Finals and gone deep into the playoffs, it's unbelievable."

Cavaliers: Improved to 6-2 in elimination game since 2015. ... James' teams are 5-2 in Game 7s. ... This was the seventh 40-point game for James this postseason. Michael Jordan also had seven, one off Jerry West's record set in 1965. ... James passed Karl Malone (2,062) for sixth place on the career postseason rebounds list.