Southwest Notes: Leonard, Spurs, Rockets

The Southwest Division has now boasted the NBA’s championship team for two out of the last four seasons. Here’s a rundown of the division:

  • Both Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili believe that most of the Spurs will be back next season. Ginobili and coach Gregg Popovich have already indicated their plans to come back for at least one more year, so the biggest question mark surrounding San Antonio’s core remains Tim Duncan‘s looming decision to pick up his player option or retire.
  • Kawhi Leonard tells Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today he’s confident that he and the Spurs will have an extension in place before the October deadline, which would avoid his becoming a restricted free agent for the 2015/16 season. “I’m just playing,” Leonard said. “The Spurs are a great organization. I’m leaving that to my agent, and I’m sure they’ll come out with a great understanding and a deal. I’m not focused on that at all.”
  • The Rockets are preparing to conduct another aggressive strategy this summer in chasing potential free agents like Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James, and Chris Bosh. Daryl Morey tells Sam Amick of USA Today that their success in landing Dwight Howard last summer has given them a leg up on pulling off more moves. “Dwight choosing here sort of represents the sea change in Houston, sort of proving that we’re a Tier One destination for free agents,” Morey said. “And obviously, we’re going out there again and saying let’s get one of these top guys again…I’d say the reasons he chose Houston are going to stay going forward.”
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