Kawhi Leonard’s future has been a hot topic around NBA circles for much of the season, but it appears, for now, the answer is pretty simple.
The San Antonio Spurs star has missed most of the season while rehabbing a mysterious quadriceps injury, and it has been reported that the forward might be looking for a change of scenery this offseason as he will sit out the remainder of the season despite being ruled healthy by the team’s medical staff.
With Leonard still under contract for one more season, however, the Spurs would have to entertain trade offers in order for Leonard to get a fresh start. While teams like the Los Angeles Clippers reportedly are preparing trade packages for Leonard, Marc Stein of The New York Times reported Monday that San Antonio doesn’t appear interested in trading their franchise player.
“One well-placed insider who has closely monitored this situation told me recently that the Spurs continue to give off signals behind the scenes that they won’t trade Leonard,” Stein wrote in his weekly newsletter.
Leonard has not been present for the Spurs’ first-round playoff series with the Golden State Warriors, as he remains in New York rehabbing with a separate medical team. The star’s absence has appeared to agitate coach Gregg Popovich who might have taken a dig at Leonard for not fighting through adversity after San Antonio’s Game 2 loss at Oracle Arena. Despite Popovich’s apparent irritation with the situation, his relationship with Leonard reportedly still is strong.
If the Spurs do end up deciding to part with the 26-year-old star, it could have wide-ranging implications for the rest of the league. LeBron James has the option to become a free agent this offseason and it has been reported that his future could be tied to Leonard’s if he is put on the trade market this summer.
But, at least for now, the Spurs seem determined to make it work with Leonard.
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