Latest On Kawhi Leonard

Tony Parker‘s decision to sign with the Hornets won’t change Kawhi Leonard‘s desire to leave San Antonio, tweets Jordan Schultz of Yahoo Sports. Schultz notes that Leonard “remains irate” with Parker over what he considers a downplaying of his quad injury. However, the locker room dysfunction goes beyond the relationship between Leonard and Parker, Schultz adds.

A rival GM tells Schultz that the Spurs haven’t relented at all on their asking price for Leonard (Twitter link). The organization doesn’t care if Leonard is unhappy in San Antonio and is refusing to consider reduced offers to resolve the situation. Schultz speculates that the Leonard trade drama could last through most of the summer, just as Carmelo Anthony‘s did a year ago.

There’s more news on Leonard to pass along:

  • Parker tells Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated that his reported feud with Leonard was blown out of proportion. “I have no problem with Kawhi Leonard,” Parker said. “We never had an argument. When the journalist asked me if my injury was worse than Kawhi’s, I said yes because it was true. But that didn’t lessen the significance of his injury. He took over the franchise and I gave up the torch of the franchise willingly. It’s very sad that the media took one quote and made it sound like I didn’t want to play with him. He was the face of the franchise.”
  • If he gets traded to the Eastern Conference, the Sixers are the only team Leonard would consider re-signing with, ESPN’s Chris Haynes said in an appearance on The Jump. Los Angeles remains Leonard’s first choice, Haynes adds, but he would be open to a long-term deal in Philadelphia if he winds up there. He notes that Leonard would not be interested in a similar arrangement with the Celtics, who are another reported suitor.
  • ESPN’s Michael C. Wright is the latest observer to say that the Clippers have overtaken the Lakers as Leonard’s preferred destination. Speaking on his podcast, Wright says “someone who would know” tells him that Leonard doesn’t want to be “second fiddle” to LeBron James with the Lakers. Wright adds that the Spurs aren’t impressed with anything the Clippers have to offer in a potential trade.
  • Up to eight teams have done background work on a possible trade for Leonard, reports Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link). The Lakers, Clippers, Sixers and Celtics have been most prominently mentioned in trade rumors, but Kyler states that others are weighing the risks of a potential “rental” deal.
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43 thoughts on “Latest On Kawhi Leonard

  1. Sam Amick of USA today says he expects Kawhi to be traded by training camp.

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  2. Thronson5

    I hate situations like this. So much he said she said and so many rumors. I just want to know when he gets traded if he’s going to at all which I’m doubting at this point. I think he might be there until the trade deadline.

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    • The Spurs will get more value at the start of the Season than at the trading deadline.

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      • Bryzzo2016

        I agree, unless it’s to L.A. or maybe Philly, the team acquiring would only have half a season. I think they’ll get the most by moving him before camp starts.

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  3. Kongfu Lobster

    Will Lakers have cap space to sign him outright next year? Or will LeBron allow them to keep such a large unused cap space this year?

    If not he has to do sign and trade to goto Lakers next year, or goto a crap team like New York.

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    • Thronson5

      Lakers can sign him next year. Not only will they have the cap space but they can also stretch Deng from his final year of his contract or attach him with a draft pick since it’s finally only one year left and free up even more cap space so there will be no need for a sign and trade.

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      • Kongfu Lobster

        That’s assuming they don’t go out and trade a Damian Lillard. I think since Lebron is in such a win-now mode, if spurs refuse to do business, he will pressure Lakers front office to get someone else and use up the cap space. He won’t waste a year and wait for Lenard.

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        • You could be right about that. Lillard would be awesome, or another star.

          The thing is, Kahwi’s defense against the Warriors would be huge.

          He could D up Durant leaving LeBron to float and SWAT everything in the stands off the ball.

          Plus Stevenson and Rondo? That defense will be on lock down. Big challenge for Kerr.

          Last thing the Lakers need to add is some Shooters. I think they forgot about that (so far.)

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          • Only catch is will Lakers give up what San Antonio and Portland would be asking for. Philadelphia does have the most assets and now Kawhi has said he’s willing to sign an extension with the Sixers. Will the Lakers give in to give up Ingram and the Sixers Markelle Fultz? Will the Lakers outbid the Sixers?

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        • bennyg

          Can see DeRozan joining Lakers – he’s from LA and is a better support type player than a leader.
          Ingram, Deng and a pick….

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  4. wright0525

    So tired of hearing all the rumored wants of KL. What happened to him supposedly texting LBJ and saying he wanted to play with him, but people are reporting he doesn’t want to play with LBJ. Until I hear Woj report this info, I don’t believe it.

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  5. todd-3

    The guy is an ego doochnozzle..

    The spurs should keep him unless someone meets their demands..

    If he doesn’t report, fine him like no other.

    Then trade him at the deadline to some time as a rental and who cares who he says he wants to play for.

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  6. paladin

    So reports say”someone who would know” say Kawhi doesnt want to play ”second fiddle” to Lebron. What star player with Kawhi type status would? Kevin Love accepted Lebricks crapola and got lucky to win a chip. Most star/super star players like Kyrie, PG and now Kawhi are like I would rather beat you than join you. I really liked Kawhi and wished he would have played out the year with the Spurs then moved on. He only played 9 games, they covered his checks and now 20 mill isn’t good enough to play in SA for. Kawhi ”remains irate” as someone who would know would say. If I’m being paid 20 mill I can take a few insults. So we take his word on injury. Is he still hurt? Is it a recurring type injury? Never let family get involved in your personal finances. In the long run this could hurt him like Loudmouth Lavar is going to torch Lonzo’s career very soon. Lavar is putting out false news about torn meniscus & maybe need surgery. Management remembers. He doesnt want Zo traded. May work this year but burnt bridges are uncrossable

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    • Dodgethis

      More like LeBron gets all the credit and teammates get all the blame, why would anyone willingly put up with that.

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      • paladin

        Agree. Lebron put together Cavs roster then all of a sudden it does not have enough basketball IQ to suit him. He didnt know how many time outs Cavs had in Game 1 Finals either. Had to ask when they were on the bench.

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    • Kawhi’s uncle is who they are talking about when they say Kawhi’s group. He doesn’t have an agent. His uncle is acting as his agent. His uncle works out of New York and wants Kawhi close to him.

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  7. Curious why he would sign with Philly but not Boston. Both east coast teams. Similar upward trajectory. Great culture/coach and stable ownership in Boston. So it’s none of that.

    Is he scared of being 2nd fiddle to kyrie? Is it nightlife/social stuff? Find this fact very interesting.

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    • formerlyz

      His uncle is in NJ/NY and has been pushing him there the last 2 years. Philly is close enough

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  8. x%sure

    Finally, some good rumors on this front! Or maybe I just agree with them. I really don’t think the Sixers have much to worry about. They might wait until the season starts to see how fritzy Fultz is.

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  9. Dodgethis

    Spurs keep acting like they hold all the cards. Like the rest of the league doesn’t know that they have no chance of resigning him and will lose him for nothing. Everyone always harps about the spurs being so smart, nothing about the last 2 years enforces that stereotype.

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    • tatumszn2018

      Agreed. Personally this whole deal changed my perspective of the Spurs. Media praises them so much and has vilified Kawhi cause god forbid Spurs have drama. Had this been the Knicks it they would be overly critical. Once this resolves be surprised any big time stars want to go to San Antonio. Feel they got exposed.

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      • Dodgethis

        Yepp. I’m feeling that Kawhi isn’t on board with hyper control the spurs front office seems to exert over it’s players. You can’t legislate Tim Duncan’s personality.

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      • Sheldon Bowen

        Spurs aren’t used to dealing with a star who hides from them literally doesn’t talk or communicate with them on a injury they didn’t know about until training camp. When a mystery injury comes and there doctors diagnose it and he says no and finds his own doctor which they let him and never made any fuss in the media other than he didn’t know what was going on? How were they supposed to handle it? What exactly did they do wrong that bothered you so bad?

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    • If you did your research, you’d realize that they do hold the cards.

      Leonard has said he’d sit the season. If he does, he still will not be eligible to become a free agent for another year as per Article XI, Section 3 of the CBA. He’ll need to wait – bad advice from his uncle I guess.

      Furthermore, his previous agent is suing Leonard’s new agency. The new agency also had his uncle and mother on the payroll. They’re being sued for previous commissions not collected.

      He’s avoided the team in every possible way. Considering the majority of players love (those who’ve played for him) and respect Pops, I’d say this is a situation where a player is getting bad advice and it’s going sideways. First he wants the Lakers, now it’s the Clippers. It’s amateur hour.

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  10. PG13 was pretty consistent about the Lakers being his eventual destination, until at least midyear after getting to know the Thunder organization and players. KL is prevaricating already? More than that, if this is true, he now doesn’t even prefer the Lakers?

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  11. Z-A

    I mean if I were Parker I would have just given him a box of tampax and told him to get out there. Honestly cant be empathetic for someone that is making 18M to do nothing for a year and considering sitting out a 2nd year for 20M.

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    • Celtics are better off without. They could have 4 first round picks. They’ll likely have to sign Kyrie, Horford, Smart and extend Brown. They may want to keep those picks. Ainge said not to expect any big moves this summer.

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  12. The Spurs “culture” was always about Robinson and Duncan. Popovich was a good but prickly GM/Prez in the early to mid 1990s. He was the first FO type I can recall that got into petty feuds with his players. Robinson, a fellow military man, took to him, and he was beyond criticism in the locker room or FO, and he held the team together through Pop’s tantrums. They went to 2 straight WCFs. Pop owes his coaching career to Robinson suffering a season ending injury very early in 1996-97 season and some ping pong balls. In sum, the team fell apart, Pop fired his HC and, without a budget to hire another, he took over himself. They continued to lose and got Duncan out of it. I guess he decided to stay as HC with Robinson and Duncan there. Good decision. But the culture that followed was mostly about the two stars (MVPs), Duncan, who by his second year had ascended to MVP level while being the most unassuming and coachable superstar in modern NBA history, and the Admiral still there as a leader willing to pass the torch and remain as an elder statesman to reinforce the rather unique structure for an NBA team – the players listened to the coaches. Every star level player that Pop added over the years, he had conflicts with, T.Parker, Ginobili, etc., early and often, but eventually fell in line because Duncan did what he was told (even changing roles several times) and they won a championship(s) before they arrived. Since Duncan left, the Spurs more resemble the bunch that Pop put together and was forced to coach without either Robinson or Duncan. Pop’s fans will blame everyone but him for every conflict, but the truth is likely as simple as players really don’t care for him or his approach. Results, yes, but like the culture that hasn’t been the same since Duncan left either.

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    • x%sure

      Interesting. I remember being “mad” at him for having Tony Parker (and my team not) and apparently not appreciating him, the way Popovich insulted him. I could not see what there was to complain about with Parker even early on.

      Perhaps he liked foreigners so much because it is easier to take advantage of them compared to natives.

      Not a fan, I thought his teams were dirty. Some people don’t like it when I say that. But dribble around Duncan and his defense is to hit you on your head.

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        • x%sure

          I should explain that last thing.
          David Robinson retired in 2003 and the Spurs ran all kinds of foreign bruising characters out there at center so that Duncan could stay at the 4.
          His feet got slow and forwards would probe him and drive. In response he left his elbows hanging out, accidently-on-purpose, and the refs allowed it. It took him too long to move to center.

          I did not see him punch people or clothesline fast drives from the perimeter I should say.

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  13. lemmor

    If I am pop i would let him him go for nothing and let him sign with the lakers and let his uncle dennis and lavar be together let see how long he will stay with them lol.

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  14. KL isn’t making life any easier for all parties involved.
    Should the Lakers find luck in acquiring one DLillard, Lonzo would most definitely become expendable.
    What I see before any of this is that after bringing in LS, we will need another body like him for defensive needs.

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  15. Totally agree with DXC with his assessment of Pop, I always said he was very lucky with what he had, never seen him doing anything extraordinary as a HC, nothing new with him, just a grumpy old man.

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  16. BTW Kawhi doesn’t wanna play 2nd fiddle to LBJ but then he is happy playing 3rd fiddle to Simmons & Embiid. Funny. At least in Boston he would be “the man”, so he should rethink about it.

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  17. warren paczkan

    One has to laugh reading your comments about coach Pop. There have been many teams with superstar players who have never won a championship. It is not just the coach or the players. I believe that is why they call it a team. If the players did it all on their own Dr. J, and numerous other superstars would have more rings. It is like saying the only reason Phil Jackson won so many championships was because of the players he had. There have been many coaches who lost championships because they could not manage the last 12 minutes of a game. Maybe you all should be coaching in the NBA since you are so intelligent. By the way, I am from NJ and a longtime Knickerbocker fan.

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    • Agreed. Knicks fan here, too. And I wish the Knicks had Pops the last 15+ years. Here in San Antonio, the players look to him as a father figure. He’s more than just basketball to them. Regarding Parker, I wonder if he would be the player he was if Pops hadn’t pushed him so hard (Parker was more interested in off the court activity, his night club, etc). Players aren’t all the same and need different ways of communication in order to be their best and properly motivated. Duncan was calmness. Parker was yelling. Manu was more of the ‘WTF were you thinking?’ and then followed up with ‘HTF did you pull that off?’ Great coaches close. I’d say Pops did his share to join the ranks of all-time greats.

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