Rumors abound that Kawhi Leonard and the San Antonio Spurs could be headed to an ugly divorce this summer. With only 21 games left in the Spurs’ campaign this season, the two-time NBA All-Star has continued to choose to sit out despite receiving clearance from the team’s medical staff.
ESPN reported that Leonard had actually obtained medical clearance from Spurs’ doctors back in December of last year when he made his season debut against the Dallas Mavericks. He suited up for nine games before deciding to sit out again in January, this time indefinitely.
According to the report, Leonard “told the organization” that “he wasn’t comfortable with his ability to play through the injury” and suggested to the club that they should “shut him down” for the season.
In a separate ESPN article, Adrian Wojnarowski said that Leonard himself “elected against returning to the active roster,” as the Spurs gave him the final say whether he wants to continue playing.
Various trade rumors involving Leonard had emerged since then, linking him to the Los Angeles Lakers, Boston Celtics, Cleveland Cavaliers, Philadelphia 76ers, and Los Angeles Clippers. The latest team being mentioned as a potential trade partner for the Spurs are the Golden State Warriors.
Fan site Fadeaway World suggested five teams that are potential trade destinations for Leonard with the defending champions being one of them. The site posited that the Warriors could get the former NBA Finals MVP for a trade package including Klay Thompson and Draymond Green.
The site said that Leonard could “still provide outstanding defense” for Golden State even without Thompson and Green, while the current Warriors pair are an “instant and perfect fit for Gregg Popovich’s system.”
Fadeaway World took the proposal up a notch by suggesting that the Warriors should pursue one more superstar this coming offseason, naming either the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Paul George or the New Orleans Pelicans’ DeMarcus Cousins, who are both entering unrestricted free agency.
The Spurs could make the process faster by offering key bench players Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston for either George or Cousins in a trade before the free-agency market opens in July. This would reportedly give them a starting lineup composed of Curry, Durant, Leonard, and George or Cousins next season, Fadeaway World reported.