San Antonio Spurs News

Kenneth Faried Deal Could Pave Way for Kawhi Leonard Extension

By Jay Desai
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Kenneth Faried of the Denver Nuggets recently agreed to a four-year, $50 million contract extension. Faried is one of several players from the 2011 NBA Draft to negotiate a deal, joining the Morris twins, Markieff and Marcus, in reaching agreements with their respective ball clubs.

Kenneth Faried has shown to be one of the better players of the class of 2011, begging the question as to whether Faried’s deal could lead to some of the other stars of the 2011 NBA Draft coming to agreements on contract extensions.

One of those notable “stars” from the 2011 draft class is the San Antonio Spurs’ Kawhi Leonard. The former San Diego State University star is coming off a career year which included being named the 2014 NBA Finals MVP.

Kawhi Leonard is now looking for a contract extension, much like his peers from the 2011 NBA Draft.

With Kenneth Faried agreeing to a contract extension, Kawhi Leonard and the San Antonio Spurs now have some solid numbers to serve as comparison which should help to facilitate a deal.

The 6-foot-7 swingman is looking to cash in either this fall or next summer after averaging 14.2 points and 6.7 rebounds on 51% shooting from the field and 41.9% from deep during the San Antonio Spurs’ title run.

Following that stellar playoff performance, Leonard and his camp are seeking a max deal from the Spurs. The two sides have until October 31st to reach an agreement otherwise Kawhi Leonard will become a restricted free agent over the summer.

With Kenneth Faried agreeing to a contract extension, Kawhi Leonard and the San Antonio Spurs now have some solid numbers to serve as comparison which should help to facilitate a deal.

The maximum amount a player of Leonard’s experience can be signed to is a four-year deal just shy of $69 million.

Kawhi Leonard’s list of accolades is longer than Kenneth Faried, with his 2014 NBA Finals MVP, a 2013-2014 All-Defensive Team selection, and an All-Rookie selection, giving the impression that Leonard may be able to sign a deal in the neighborhood of the maximum amount.

Although Leonard would most likely receive max money were he to look elsewhere, the thinking around the league is that the growing superstar would like to stay in San Antonio.

With that said, the Spurs almost always are able to negotiate deals below the maximum, implying that Kawhi Leonard’s deal will be just that, slightly below the maximum.

Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders agrees with this logic, offering this on what should be a for certain deal.

The Faried deal should help get a Leonard deal a little closer. His camp is seeking a max level offer; it’s likely that the Spurs and Leonard reach a deal just under that, which is typical of the Spurs’ process.

Both sides want to reach a deal and the process is playing out, so Leonard reaching a new deal before the deadline seems likely.

Kenneth Faried’s deal surely gives the San Antonio Spurs some numbers to play with heading into the closely approaching deadline. With this deal, Kawhi Leonard and the Spurs should be able to come to an agreement ahead of the October 31st cutoff.

If a deal does not come to fruition, however, it should not be the end of the world for San Antonio fans. The Spurs would still retain the swing-man’s rights and could match any deal in the summer of 2015.

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Additionally, both sides have made it clear that they want to reach an agreement, meaning that the only issue is an issue of numbers.

For now though, San Antonio Spurs can only watch as and hope that the logistics of a deal will be sorted out soon.

Do you think the Kenneth Faried deal could pave the way for Kawhi Leonard’s contract extension? Let us know in the comments!

Also, don’t forget to follow Air Alamo on Twitter @AirAlamo for updates on Kawhi Leonard’s contract extension!

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