With the 2018 NBA Finals quickly approaching, the San Antonio Spurs are preparing for an uncertain offseason involving Kawhi Leonard. For the first time under head coach Gregg Popovich, the model franchise faces a reported conflict with its superstar.
Leonard, who has been dealing with a right quadriceps injury, averaged 16.2 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 2.3 assists in only nine games during the 2017-18 NBA season.
At different points of the regular season, there were conflicting reports about a potential return, but not much clarity was provided beyond Leonard’s lone media availability.
As a result, the Los Angeles Lakers are among the teams that have been heavily linked to Leonard via trade or 2019 free agency.
On ESPN’s Get Up! with Mike Greenberg, Michelle Beadle, and Jalen Rose, Danny Green tried to provide clarity about the situation and revealed a recent conversation he had with Leonard:
— Get Up (@GetUpESPN) May 25, 2018
With the Spurs reportedly looking to mend fences with Leonard, they can offer him a five-year, $219 million supermax contract extension this summer. If the Spurs come to the conclusion that Leonard will not re-sign with them, they will have to consider their trade options.
For the Lakers, they have reportedly informed teams no player is considered untouchable. By rebuilding through the draft, president of basketball operations Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka face the temptation of trading prospects for an established All-Star player like Leonard in an attempt to become perennial championship contenders.
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