Published: Thu, June 21, 2018
Sport | By Tony Jimenez

Don’t deplete assets for Kawhi Leonard

Don’t deplete assets for Kawhi Leonard

An ESPN report in May said the Spurs were anxious Leonard's group - led by uncle Dennis Robertson and agent Mitch Frankel - intentionally sought to sabotage the team's relationship with Leonard in hopes of getting him traded to a larger market.

In fact, one report says Gregg Popovich met with Kawhi Leonard on Tuesday, two days before the NBA Draft.

San Antonio Spurs forward Rudy Gay is declining his 2018-19 player option to become an unrestricted free agent this summer, league sources tell ESPN.

Even despite Leonard's reported feelings, it appears Popovich is still trying to fix the relationship, which fractured at some point during last season.

Before the meeting took place, Leonard did not want to sit down with Popovich and purposefully made himself "difficult" for the Spurs to reach. USA Today's Sam Amick added that the meeting had been scheduled for a few weeks and wasn't a direct response to Leonard's reported trade wish. Among the issues, Leonard is angry over what he believes was the Spurs' mishandling of his quad injury, and remains irate with public comments from teammate Tony Parker and Popovich that he felt were not supportive of him, league sources said.

So far, the Spurs have been largely reluctant to give teams guidance on the players, or packages, that would interest them in trades, sources said.

The Spurs are unlikely to be motivated to trade Leonard to the Lakers.

And while teaming up with Leonard in L.A. would likely be appealing for James, it isn't a guarantee he'll join the Purple and Gold. The Cavs, for example, seem interested, but how much can you rationally surrender for a guy who you know will be only a one-year rental?

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