Unless you’ve been living under a rock this entire NBA season, you know San Antonio Spurs superstar Kawhi Leonard only played in nine games during the regular season due to a right quadriceps injury and that he and the franchise have reportedly not been on the same page.
Leonard, who has been cleared by team doctors to return to game-action for quite some time, hasn’t been cleared by his own medical team and is currently in New York rehabbing the injury.
When asked by reporters this past Sunday if there’s any chance Leonard returns for the playoffs, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said, “You’ll have to ask Kawhi and his group that question,” adding more fuel to the fire that the Spurs and Leonard have some disconnect going on.
But while the Spurs figure to receive interest from rival teams who would like to trade for Leonard, it remains to be seen whether they will entertain such a drastic move, according to New York Times reporter Marc Stein.
“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 most recent newsletter. “I’m sure they want Leonard to believe that, but this saga has reached the point that a trade has to be considered no less likely than the prospect of a Pop/Kawhi summit that leads to a detente.”
The Spurs can offer Leonard the supermax this offseason which would pay the two-time Defensive Player of the Year close to $219 million over five-years.