San Antonio Spurs Head Coach Gregg Popovich and Kawhi Leonard are reportedly planning to have a meeting on or before the 2018 NBA Draft. The much-awaited conversation is expected to be focused on addressing the issues between Leonard and the team, and offering the disgruntled superstar a massive contract extension. However, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the Spurs are unlikely to give Leonard the contract extension until they see him return to the active lineup, making the All-Star forward vulnerable in trade talks this offseason.
“If Leonard wants the Spurs to make that super-maximum contract offer — and indications are, yes, Leonard and his group want that offer — the history of how Popovich and Spurs president R.C. Buford do business suggests the offer won’t come without significant repairs to the relationship. History suggests the Spurs could want to see Leonard return to the active lineup before making a super-max offer next year, see him reinvested fully into the program.”
Rumors and speculations will continue to circulate around Kawhi Leonard until he officially inks the contract extension with the Spurs. One of the NBA teams who is expected to express strong interest in acquiring him is the Cleveland Cavaliers. According to Tony Pesta of Fansided‘s King James Gospel, the Cavaliers have the “perfect pieces” to convince the Spurs to make a deal.
In the trade scenario suggested by King James Gospel, the Cavaliers will send Kevin Love and the No. 8 pick in the 2018 NBA Draft to San Antonio for Kawhi Leonard. The proposed deal works on ESPN‘s NBA Trade Machine. Love may not be able to replicate Leonard’s performance, but it will be best for the Spurs to push through with the deal, especially if they won’t reach an agreement regarding a contract extension.
Leonard could become an unrestricted free agent next summer where the Spurs could lose him without getting anything in return. The addition of Love will keep them competitive in the Western Conference, and there is a possibility that playing under Coach Gregg Popovich could help him bring back the “Minnesota Love.” The No. 8 pick could help them speed up the rebuilding process and address the areas they need to improve on their roster.
Meanwhile, succeeding to acquire Kawhi Leonard will tremendously increase the Cavaliers’ chance of convincing LeBron James to stay. Family and winning are James’ priorities in his next controversial decision. It is something that he can achieve if Leonard teams up with him in Cleveland next season.