Report: Gregg Popovich, Kawhi Leonard trying to meet
From NBA media reports
A resolution could take place between the Spurs and their estranged superstar as early as this week.
According to Jabari Young of the San Antonio Express-News, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich and All-Star forward Kawhi Leonard are attempting to arrange a meeting in hopes of repairing the issues that may exist between the former NBA Finals MVP and the only franchise for which he has played.
League sources tell the Express-News that head coach Gregg Popovich and Leonard are trying to schedule a meeting, possibly this week, to discuss any issues or concerns Leonard may have, and hopefully come to a decision on offering Leonard the five-year, $219 million super-max extension he is eligible to receive.
Leonard, who is still rehabbing from his quad injury, is close to feeling 100 percent — “He’s at 96, 97 percent,” a source told the Express-News — and anticipates being ready for the start of training camp in September.
Leonard, 26, has also added the San Diego area, his usual offseason workout destination, to his rehab locations, while still spending time in New York where his medical advisors are based.
Leonard played in just nine games for San Antonio in the 2017-18 campaign due to a quad injury he initially suffered in Game 1 of the 2017 Western Conference finals. The two-time Kia Defensive Player of the Year’s absence was especially notable late in the season, when he went to New York to continue rehab and chose not to be with the team during its playoff run. San Antonio was defeated 4-1 in the first round of the playoffs by eventual-champion Golden State.
The tension surrounding the situation intensified when, after opting to not be with the team for rehab reasons, Leonard was spotted three weeks later attending a Dodgers game in Los Angeles.
San Antonio is hoping to regain the usual good footing it holds with its stars in order to maintain the standard of excellence they have maintained since drafting Tim Duncan No. 1 overall in 1997. The Spurs had won at least 50 games in every season until 2017-18, when they went 47-35 and finished seventh in the Western Conference.
Of further concern is Leonard’s contract status. The two-time All-Star can enter unrestricted free agency in 2019 if he does not sign a contract extension with the Spurs this summer.
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