You’ve heard all the crazy trade proposals and wild theories. Turns out they might not matter.
The San Antonio Spurs, who, in case you forgot, still employ Kawhi Leonard, hope to offer their star player a “supermax contract” that will keep him with the franchise through 2023, Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio Express-News reported Monday.
“Still, the Spurs hope to meet with Leonard and his representatives soon in a bid to mend fences and pave the way for Leonard to come to terms on a five-year $219 million supermax contract that he will be eligible to receive starting July 1.
“If attempts to patch up the relationship fail, the Spurs will be forced to explore trading a player coach Gregg Popovich once labeled ‘the future face of the franchise.’ ”
Fences certainly need mending: Leonard played just nine games for San Antonio this season while battling a quad injury and chose to rehab away from the team, not attending a single playoff game as the Spurs were bounced in the first round by the Golden State Warriors. Reports of his camp’s discontent and failed communication swirled throughout the campaign.
Yet Leonard’s relationship with the Spurs isn’t beyond repair, according to San Antonio-based advertising executive Al Aguilar.
“San Antonio to me has historically been a very friendly community, so I don’t think it will take a heck of a lot of what I call ‘PR repair’ for fans to embrace him again,” Aguilar told Orsborn.
If Leonard, who still has two years remaining on his contract, wants a change in scenery, he’ll have plenty of enticing options. The Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers are just two of the teams rumored to have interest in the 26-year-old.
But no other club can offer Leonard $219 million, and if he’s willing to put the 2017-18 campaign under the bridge, the Spurs appear willing to do the same.
Thumbnail photo via Soobum Im/USA TODAY Sports Images