Chris Mannix explains where Kawhi Leonard would best fit if not on the Spurs

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As it appears more and more clear that the relationship between Kawhi Leonard and the San Antonio Spurs has deteriorated beyond repair, Chris Mannix unveils to Cris Carter, Nick Wright and Jenna Wolfe two realistic landing spots for the All-Star.

- I mean, look, he'd fit everywhere. It just-- it comes down to two things. One, does San Antonio believe that over the course of a season that this is irreconcilable, that Gregg Popovich and RC Buford and the winningest franchise in professional sports over the last 20 years can't figure it out with a player that seemingly just loves to play?

If they do want to deal him, though, look, for a lot of the reasons Anthony Davis made sense in Boston, Kawhi Leonard makes sense in Boston. Because if you're the Spurs, think about what the Spurs would do if they were dealing Kawhi.

Look, and LaMarcus Aldridge is 32 years old. He's got a guaranteed contract-- fully guaranteed-- through the end of next season. The last season of his deal, only partially guaranteed at seven million per year. If you're the Spurs, you know Genobili's gone, and Parker's done, and you got a bunch of G Leaguers around these guys, anyway. Don't you start thinking about rebooting the whole thing?

And if you do, what team out there can offer the assets that Boston can? I've watched a lot of Jayson Tatum over the course of this year. Jayson Tatum is a transcendent offensive talent. Jayson Tatum, at some point in his career, is going to average 25-plus points per game. He's that good on the offensive end of the floor. If Boston builds a package around Jayson Tatum, that might be the best deal San Antonio can hope to get.

NICK WRIGHT: The-- and if you're Boston-- I know Celtics fans think that all their guys are untouchable, that it's going to be a Terry Rozier with picks.

CHRIS MANNIX: It's Terry Rozier with Shane Larkin thrown in.

NICK WRIGHT: But listen--

- Maybe we'll give you Kadeem Allen.

- --if you get a commitment from Kawhi that he's going to sign an extension, yeah, pick the player on my roster you want. Like, if you want Jayson Tatum, you can have him. Now, if you don't know if Kawhi's going to sign, and then, maybe I take it down a notch and say--

- That's won't scare them. I tell you, that won't scare them, though, because they were willing to go get Paul George without a commitment from Paul George. They firmly believe in Boston, right or wrong, that if they get a guy into that system and they get a guy playing for Brad Stevens, who I think is the coach of the year this year, that they can convince that guy to stay, plus all the money.

CRIS CARTER: Yeah, I believe that-- I believe Kawhi-- I believe he's played his last game in San Antonio. I believe that Boston will be one of the-- there'll be a lot of teams going after him, but the realistic, Boston is real. It's on the table. The Lakers will be real. And also, some kind of way, by hook or crook, the Knicks would like to get in the Kawhi. And Kawhi's camp, there might be a contingent within that camp that would like to see him in New York.

So I don't believe he will be in San Antonio. I do believe that they-- they will come to an agreement. Boston is the most dangerous team. But also, let's not forget, Boston-- I believe Kawhi is their second choice. Their first choice is Anthony Davis.

The Boston Celtics are trying to add another piece that they can get a window-- you and I talked about-- a five to seven year window where they can compete for championships. Kawhi and Anthony Davis, I believe, are on the table for your guy, Danny Ainge.

- My guy.

- All those picks you've been stockpiling, now is the time.

CHRIS MANNIX: There-- I agree with you. They'd love to get their hands on Anthony Davis. But I think there's a recognition in Boston that Anthony Davis is probably off the table.


- Look--

- Finally! Finally, they realized that that-- he was never on the table. Somebody off the table has to ever be on the table. The only reason Anthony Davis was ever discussed was because people in Boston were like, who is the best young player in the league? Anthony Davis. We want him. Well, obviously, we'll get him.

CHRIS MANNIX: It's not-- it's not the only-- you're like a wind up toy over there. Like, it's not-- he's not-- that's not only reason!

CRIS CARTER: Hey, Mannix, a broken clock is right twice a day. Now, he was already right about the Cavs, so this might-- this might be the broken clock twice.

CHRIS MANNIX: Look, this isn't like-- this isn't made up out of anywhere, either. Boston continuously has checked in with New Orleans about this. And the reason they do that, and the reason they believed it was possible, is because the Pelicans stink and have stunk over the last couple of years.

What's changed this year is that Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins played well together. More likely than not, DeMarcus Cousins gets a max level contract from the Pelicans and they bring this band back together. Kawhi is the one that actually might be available.

CRIS CARTER: Also, um, sidebar-- the Pelicans owner, Tom Benson, did die. His wife took over the team. So for them making a move like that, I believe, it's less likely for someone who didn't have a lot of experience in sports to trade their best player.

- Listen, I mean, when you say they checked in, there are a lot of guys that tweet to Beyonce. It doesn't mean them going on a date with her is on the table. They're just throwing it out there. Like, Anthony Davis was never--


- With this many years left on his deal--

- Try to process that.

- --in my eyes, was never going to be traded. Like, you don't trade top five players in the league pre-- prior to they are on an expiring contract. That is the interesting thing about Kawhi.

CHRIS MANNIX: Jimmy Butler got traded. He wasn't a top five player--

- Right!

- --but Jimmy Butler's an elite two-way player with two years left in his contract. Because that's when you can maximize value.

- You see guys in the Jimmy Butler tier traded quite often with a couple of years left on their deal, the 10 to 20 tier. But guys that we talk about going into year as MVP favorites are not on the table. But I'm happy for Boston, because they have accumulated these assets. And they have been-- and I have been hearing Anthony Davis and think, well, that's crazy talk. But Kawhi's a real thing now.

And one of the reasons why doing it the way Danny Ainge has done it, the way Daryl Morey was doing it pre-James Harden, is sometimes guys you never thought would be on the table are there. James Harden's all of a sudden there. You go get him. Kawhi Leonard-- nobody thought a year ago, Kawhi Leonard could be available. No team is better positioned to get him. I think CC's right. That as far as, like-- when we talk about Kawhi's unhappiness with his shoe contract, the market, New York or LA are probably his top choices.

- You sit here now, though, and you say, yeah-- and you say, like, look, it was never on the table, Anthony Davis. Two years from now, will the Pelicans regret maybe not going out and trying to get a Tatum, Brown, Al Horford, plus that, you know, Lakers--

- Oh, that Al-- man, I'm so excited to pay Al Horford $30 million.

- It's money. It's just the money of it. It's Tatum, Brown.

- OK.