- Kawhi Leonard no longer wants to play for the San Antonio Spurs, according to reports out Friday.
- The development is the latest in the Spurs-Leonard saga, which saw disagreements over how to handle Leonard’s injury drive a wedge between the two sides.
The Kawhi Leonard saga has reached the next level.
According to multiple reports, Leonard no longer wants to play for the San Antonio Spurs, setting up a potential blockbuster trade.
The Spurs-Leonard fallout is one of the wildest in recent memory, with a lingering right-quadriceps injury and confusion over how to rehab it driving a wedge between the two sides during the season. Leonard played just nine games during the 2017-2018 season, choosing to sit out as he felt uncomfortable taking the floor, even after the Spurs’ medical team cleared him.
Leonard was not with the team toward the end of the season and through the playoffs, instead working out in New York City, though some Spurs staff members were reportedly with him.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported in June that Leonard and Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich would meet to try to repair the relationship. Part of the meeting would include discussions over the $US219 million supermax extension the Spurs could offer Leonard this summer. No other team can offer Leonard the contract.
Wojnarowski reported on Friday that Leonard’s preferred destination was Los Angeles, namely the Lakers.
The Spurs may be forced into trading Leonard, as Leonard can become a free agent in 2019. Teams would be hesitant to trade for Leonard without assurance that he would re-sign with them next summer. It may limit the number of offers the Spurs can choose from, unless a team wants to take a risk on having Leonard as a one-year rental.
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