Curran: If Spurs want to send Kawhi to Boston, it's best if they wait

Curran: If Spurs want to send Kawhi to Boston, it's best if they wait

Unless the San Antonio Spurs are a million percent sure they can’t repair their fractured relationship with Kawhi Leonard, I don’t get the urgency in trying to move him. 

Offers between now and the dawn of NBA free agency will tantalize, but there’s no reason for the Spurs to make a panic move just because of tiny clocks in the upper right-hand corners of TVs performing countdowns.

And -- less than a week ago -- Spurs G.M. R.C. Buford still didn’t sound ready to raise the white flag. 


“We’re going to do what we can to build the best relationship we can with him, and we’ll explore all of our options,” Buford told reporters. “But the first one would be to do what we can to keep Kawhi as a part of our group.” 

Last summer, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich talked LaMarcus Aldridge off the ledge. Different human, different aspirations, different talent level than Kawhi, to be sure, but it is at least a precedent. And a precedent that figured to make it likely San Antonio would draw out the process a bit. 

Today, though, it sounds like Buford’s getting itchy. 

Adrian Wojnarowski reported around noon that . . .

He added  . . .

Finally . . . 

Taking the information piece by piece . . . 

1. San Antonio would likely prefer shipping Kawhi to Boston, where he’s out of the conference and the Spurs will be able to get the most in return in either players (Jaylen Brown, Terry Rozier, Marcus Smart) or picks (next year’s Sacramento pick). That will take the sting from their somehow butchering a relationship with one of the league’s top five players while effectively sending him into pseudo-exile. For San Antonio, it’s best-case scenario.  

2. For the Celtics, there’s no real urgency since they have a terrific team already. That’s why I love the “extremely cautious” portion of Woj’s info. Is Leonard healthy? Has he turned into a head-case? Will he just flee for L.A. after the 2018-19 season anyway and leave Boston sucking on “what ifs”? The upside for Boston has the potential to be fleeting. The only thing that should worry Boston is that Leonard would be the first piece of a newly-formed super team in L.A. If Kawhi goes and Paul George – who seems locked in to the Lakers and will be a free agent this weekend – also goes, then LeBron has his landing spot. Then the Celtics have two Western Conference leviathans to deal with in the Lakers and Golden State. Then again, BFD? Let those two fight to get to the Finals where the Celtics will likely await the winner after getting past the weirdo Sixers. Speaking of the Sixers, that’s another possibility for Leonard and LeBron, as The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor wrote.  In the end, though, one hopes Danny Ainge’s biggest concern wouldn’t be acquiring Leonard in an effort to block a hypothetical super-team forming. Too many variables and presumptions to make that kind of leap. 

3. The urgency is on the Lakers but if they deal half their roster for Kawhi then sign George and pursue LeBron, they will be so top-heavy salary-wise that they’ll be surrounding those three with a dozen minimum-wage players. Might work, sure. But  what if they can’t land LeBron after getting Kawhi for whatever reason. Let the Lakers overextend themselves and take the gamble an ass team should have to take. The Celtics are in too good a position to make a panic move like LA. 


There’s one other circumstance in which Kawhi could land in Boston without the cost being too outrageous. And that’s if Buford does slow-play the market. The perfect team to do that dance with is Boston. 

What does San Antonio owe Leonard after he pulled the ripcord on them this year? Why should they send him where he ultimately wants to go in exchange for players who probably aren’t exactly Popovich’s cup of tea? Why would they want to send him in-conference, creating another hurdle for them to deal with if they are able to rebuild?

Sit on him until LeBron and Paul George land then ship Kawhi somewhere else. The Spurs might take a little less back but -- if it’s a little less and coming from Boston -- it means Kawhi’s out of their hair and Boston sent them a future All-Star. 

If the Spurs play the waiting game hoping for Boston to cough up what they want, that’s the perfect scenario. Let everybody else flip out about fake deadlines. Now’s the time to play it cool.


Why Brad Stevens has "no doubt" about Robert Williams' bright future

Why Brad Stevens has "no doubt" about Robert Williams' bright future

An opportunity appears to be coming for Robert Williams. And Brad Stevens fully expects him to make the most of it.

The Boston Celtics' rookie big man saw a big uptick in minutes Monday night and could see more action going forward if injuries to Al Horford and Aron Baynes linger.

The man they call "Time Lord" still is a work in progress, of course. But according to Stevens, there's one trait Williams possesses that will benefit him greatly going forward.

"He has been awesome in his work," Stevens said Wednesday on 98.5 The Sports Hub "Zolak & Bertrand," as aired on NBC Sports Boston. "That's the thing that has stood out to me. He has come to work every day."

That's right: The same kid who slept through his introductory conference call and missed a flight to Boston this summer apparently has an insatiable work ethic.

"Even in the summer and fall before guys really arrived, he would watch Baynes come in early and do a workout, and then he would say to (Celtics video assistant) Alex Barlow, who's been working with him, 'Let's come in at that time and do that, too.' "

"Those are things that everybody says they're willing to do, but he's been willing to work."

Williams' work appears to be paying off: He tallied seven points, 11 rebounds and three blocks over 26 minutes Monday night while going toe-to-toe with New Orleans Pelicans superstar Anthony Davis.

We don't want to drive the hype train too fast, but Stevens doesn't seem to mind making lofty predictions for his 6-foot-10 big man.

"I think his best days are ahead," Stevens added. "I think still he's got a lot to work on. But he can do some things physically in the meantime that can be impactful."

"I think there certainly is a lot of room for growth, and I have no doubt that he'll get there because of his work ethic."

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Boston Celtics get "Earned Edition" uniforms for making the 2018 playoffs

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Boston Celtics get "Earned Edition" uniforms for making the 2018 playoffs

"I'm just happy we made it to the playoffs so we can get a cool new jersey."

Said no one ever.

But hey, it's a neat perk for sure. 

Nike, who took over as the official apparel company for the NBA before last season, released their "City Edition" uniforms earlier this season. These uniforms were meant to pay homage to the team's city.

Today, Nike released the "Earned Edition" jerseys. These pay homage to the cities' team.

16 Earned Edition jerseys were released - one for each of the playoff teams from last season. Which means the Boston Celtics got some new swag. 

The "Earned Edition" unis can be debuted on December 25, and considering the Celtics uniforms for Christmas Day are currently listed as "coming soon" on Lockervision, there is a good chance Boston will debut their new gear on Christmas against the Sixers.

See all 16 of the "Earned Edition" jerseys here

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