Last Tuesday, San Antonio Spurs star Kawhi Leonard and coach Gregg Popovich met in San Diego. It appears the Spurs are contingent on keeping Leonard or trading him to a team in the Eastern Conference, according to a Saturday report by USA Today.
“The Spurs are determined to either fix the situation or trade Leonard to an Eastern Conference team,” wrote USA Today’s Sam Amick. “For teams other than the Lakers, the threat of losing Leonard in free agency next summer makes the prospect of offering meaningful assets a complicated, calculated risk.”
As Eastern Conference teams go, Amick referenced Philadelphia and Boston as teams that could put together packages for Leonard. They both have assets to relinquish as well as a willingness to improve and add depth to the wing position Leonard plays.
The current state of the relationship between Leonard and San Antonio is a result of complications between the two parties as it relations to Leonard’s absence and the organization’s handling of his quadriceps injury during the past year.
Leonard, a two-time All-Star and two-time Defensive Player of the Year, only played nine games in the 2017-18 season. His contract contains two more seasons — in which he’s owed $41.4 million total — but Leonard will have a player option in the 2019-20 season.
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