Kawhi Leonard trade rumors might not have been swirling as quickly as they did a few weeks ago, but new reports could point at these reports adding up around the last week of the month, as the San Antonio Spurs might only be available to discuss offers for their reportedly disgruntled star wingman after this year’s NBA Draft, which takes place on June 22.
For the meantime, however, it appears that the Spurs are doing what they could to keep the 26-year-old Leonard, who played in only nine games in the 2017-18 NBA season, in San Antonio, as ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski believes the team is still willing to build the franchise around him, according to a report from YardBarker. As quoted from his appearance this week on ESPN’s NBA Draft — On the Clock, Wojnarowski added that Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich will “sit down” with Leonard between now and the draft, and try to fix whatever issues Kawhi may have with his teammates and the organization.
“There’s a lot of work to be done. San Antonio’s got to decide whether they want to offer him that five-year, $219 million super-max contract. No one else can pay him that much and if San Antonio’s not willing to do that without watching him play another season, seeing him play more than nine games, well then, Leonard may have a decision about whether he wants to play another year there.”
Wojnarowski added that there are “a lot” of NBA teams who would like to acquire Kawhi Leonard via trade, though these teams are still not being entertained by San Antonio’s management. The Spurs are the NBA’s only team capable of giving Leonard the aforementioned “super-max” contract, though it remains unclear if that will be enough to convince him to stay.
Aside from Wojnarowski’s recent comments, NBA fans have been paying close attention to The Ringer‘s Kevin O’Connor, who said last month that based on what he’s heard from NBA executives, the Spurs will only agree to trade Leonard if they are presented with a “grand slam offer,” and might be willing to continue their alleged impasse with their top superstar until training camp, or even until the start of the 2018-19 season, if such offers aren’t made.
Although most NBA trade rumors have suggested that Kawhi Leonard wants to be traded elsewhere after the troublesome 2017-18 season he went through, one of his teammates claimed in a recent interview that Leonard actually wants to continue playing for the Spurs. As noted by Bleacher Report, Danny Green said that it was Leonard himself who told him that he “wants to be in San Antonio.”