While plenty of attention has been given to 2018 free agents LeBron James and Paul George, the ever-changing saga between Kawhi Leonard and the San Antonio Spurs has provided additional intrigue for the offseason.
The rift reportedly had Gregg Popovich muling over trade options for the five-time All-Star, though recent reports suggest the Spurs are hopeful fences can be mended as they were with LaMarcus Aldridge.
That might be an issue for Leonard’s camp, as there’s said to be a feeling the Spurs organization is alienating him. Trouble arose this season when a complex quad injury limited Leonard to all of nine games.
But not only did he decide against returning after the Spurs medical staff cleared him, but Leonard was absent from their games. He instead opted to continue with treatment and rehab in New York.
While Leonard didn’t join the Spurs for support during their first-round playoff series with the Golden State Warriors, he did take in Thursday’s game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Cincinnati Reds at Dodger Stadium, via The Ringer:
It's been just over two weeks since the Spurs were eliminated. Kawhi Leonard wasn't able to attend a single playoff game.
Tonight, he caught a Dodgers game in LA. This will definitely be your Laker fan-friend's new favorite video.
— The Ringer (@ringer) May 11, 2018
As trade rumors persist, the Los Angeles Lakers continue to be linked to Leonard. However, the latest indication is they are more likely to wait for him to potentially reach free agency in 2019 and are confident in their chances to sign the 26-year-old.
Leonard is eligible to sign the five-year, $219 million super-max contract extension this summer.