Kawhi Leonard will either stay with the San Antonio Spurs for the long-term or be traded. The Spurs making a decision on Kawhi Leonard is expected within the next six weeks.
The San Antonio Express News is reporting that the San Antonio Spurs want to mend fences with Kawhi Leonard. The Spurs will reportedly be offering Leonard a “supermax” contract of five years and $215 million. It is the hope of the Spurs that Kawhi Leonard will be receptive to their offer and bury the hatchet.
If nothing happens in terms of getting Kawhi Leonard to commit beyond next season, the Spurs are going to trade him. It will not be an easy feat for the Spurs to get Leonard on the same page with them. It has become a strained relationship between Leonard and the Spurs. Nothing is expected to return to normal overnight.
Kawhi Leonard and the San Antonio Spurs have been at an impasse for months. Elements of their rift began in January.
According to ESPN, Kawhi Leonard and the San Antonio Spurs were not seeing eye to eye while the superstar forward was rehabbing from a left quadriceps injury. Leonard felt the necessity to seek an outside opinion after trying to rehab with the Spurs’ team doctors and training staff.
Immediately, it was assumed that the rift between Kawhi Leonard and the Spurs would diminish over time. Rarely does disharmony enter the Spurs’ locker room and linger. However, this situation appears to be different.
Getting a read on Kawhi Leonard is difficult. Leonard seldom spoke to the media, seldom was vocal inside of the Spurs’ locker room, and seldom showed any expression on the basketball court. He has always been stoic. At the same time, Kawhi Leonard is a great basketball player, one the Spurs do not want to lose.
If the San Antonio Spurs cannot convince Kawhi Leonard to take the $215 million contract extension, he will be traded. The Spurs will not lose Leonard for nothing, especially when they can get a lot in return for him.
They could be as many as 20 suitors trying to get together a trade proposal for Kawhi Leonard. NBA teams looking to cement themselves as championship contenders will be targeting Leonard. Teams looking for a transcendent star will also be checking in on what the Spurs decide to do with Leonard.
It is too soon to speculate, but the Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, and possibly the Miami Heat could be considered as favorites to land Kawhi Leonard if he is traded. First, the San Antonio Spurs will see if they can build a bridge.