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Kawhi Leonard Rumors: Gregg Popovich Meets With Superstar in San Diego; Nothing Resolved Yet

Yash Matange
360   //    20 Jun 2018, 10:35 IST

San Antonio Spurs vs Boston Celtics
Gregg Popovich and Kawhi Leonard.

What's the story?

San Antonio Spurs' head coach Gregg Popovich travelled to San Diego, California to meet with his team's unhappy superstar Kawhi Leonard.

In case you didn't know

The relationship between Leonard and the Spurs has been fractured for months. Last Friday morning, reports had surfaced that the 2014 NBA Finals MVP wanted out of San Antonio and was demanding a trade.

Heart of the matter

Yahoo Sport's Shams Charania was among the first to report the apparent meeting.

Despite that first report, there were plenty of other scoops that were further shared by a lot of other notable reporters. According to USA Today's Sam Amick, this was a previously scheduled meeting and had nothing to do with Friday's reports.

In a detailed report by ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelbourne, they mention that Kawhi had told his close circle that he wasn't inclined on meeting with Popovich and had been difficult to reach on purpose. The report further states that Leonard is still irate about lack of support he received from Pop and the other players when he was in a disagreement with the team regarding his injury rehab.

While this report came out, their colleague, ESPN's Chris Haynes dropped a bombshell on Twitter:


As per earlier reports, Leonard wants to be moved to LA - with the Lakers more than the Clippers - or to the New York Knicks but the Spurs are in no rush to trade him as they hold the leverage to a certain extent. He is slated to become a free agent next summer but till then it's the franchise that's holding all the cards.

The Spurs can offer him a 5-year $219 million dollar extension, something no other team can but there's been no talk of an extension as Leonard isn't concerned about the money. He seems to be more upset with the strained relationship - lack of support from the organization.

What's next?

A trade looks imminent as both parties (Spurs and Kawhi) can't seem to come to an agreement. According to ESPN's report, San Antonio has been reluctant to let indulge any team's interest with discussions on trade packages and so forth but clearly, interest among other teams is increasing by the day especially with the NBA Draft just in a couple of days.

Also read: 5 Trade Packages for Kawhi Leonard

As per numerous reports and rumours, the Los Angeles Lakers and the Boston Celtics seem to be the teams repeatedly mentioned to be frontrunners to land the 2-time Defensive Player of the Year.

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Yash Matange
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