Leonard, who has been in New York since Monday, is meeting with doctors outside the Spurs organization to figure out why he hasn’t been able to recover from a quad problem that has limited him to nine games this season. No one is sure when he plans to rejoin the Spurs, and Wojnarowski notes that team officials are losing hope that he will be able to play either in the regular season or the playoffs.
Leonard took a similar trip to meet with his own doctors prior to the All-Star break, but this latest trip comes in the wake of a players-only meeting March 17 to address his status. Wojnarowski has described the meeting as confrontational, but several players denied that. Members of San Antonio’s staff have joined Leonard in New York and are getting regular updates from him.
The 26-year-old, who finished third in last season’s MVP voting, has established himself as one of the top two-way players in the league. He is a two-time Defensive Player of the Year and was named MVP of the 2014 Finals. His absence has obviously affected the Spurs, who are fighting for a playoff spot at 44-32, three games ahead of the ninth-place Clippers and Nuggets.
Rumors have been swirling that Leonard’s relationship with the team has soured heading into an offseason where he will become eligible for a super max contract extension worth roughly $217MM over five years. If no extension is reached, he can opt out of a $21.3MM salary and become a free agent next summer.