Sportress of Blogitude

Report: Gregg Popovich, Kawhi Leonard to meet before NBA draft

The San Antonio Spurs will attempt to resolve the uncertainty surrounding Kawhi Leonard with a meeting between the superstar and Gregg Popovich sometime before the 2018 NBA Draft, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

The apparent deterioration of the relationship between Leonard and the Spurs organization became a prominent story line throughout a season in which the star was limited to only nine games this season due to a nagging quadriceps tendinopathy condition, something that allegedly sparked some drama in the Spurs’ locker room.

Conflicting reports make it unclear exactly where the relationship between Popovich and Leonard stands. But getting the two back on the same page obviously would get things headed back in the right direction. Wojnarowski said this week on ESPN’s “NBA Draft – On the Clock” that the Spurs still see Leonard as part of the team’s future.

“… the Spurs haven’t forgotten and they want to continue to build their organization around Kawhi Leonard,” Wojnarowski said. “Gregg Popovich is going to sit down with Kawhi sometime between now and the draft, and they’re going to start to see if they can repair the trust between he and the organization, and I think Kawhi at some point’s got to rebuild the relationship with a lot of his teammates.

“There’s a lot of work to be done. San Antonio’s got to decide whether they want to offer him that 5-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.

“So there’s a lot of questions between now and the draft. A lot of teams in the league would love to get involved in trade talks with San Antonio – those are not being entertained yet by the Spurs.”

As noted by Woj, the Spurs are the only team that can offer Leonard the super-max deal. Further, one of Leonard’s Spurs teammates previously indicated the superstar wants to stay in San Antonio. Stay tuned.