After a quadriceps injury that took San Antonio Spurs star Kawhi Leonard out for all but nine games, what’s his status as of June 7?
Before the 2017 preseason, the San Antonio Spurs ruled Kawhi Leonard out indefinitely with a right quadriceps injury. The severity, nor its events, were publicly revealed. The ailment, though, kept him out for all but nine games this season. It was one year after the former MVP candidate had a career-high 74 games played.
Since the season ended Leonard’s status has not been updated. However, Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports discussed it on a podcast with fellow NBA writers Chris Mannix and Michael Lee.
Charania believes Leonard is nearly 100-percent healthy and will be ready to start the 2018-19 season. However, he and the organization still must sit down and work out their issues (h/t Pounding the Rock for transcription):
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“I think (Kawhi) viewed the way Isaiah Thomas had to go through his hip issue last year; the way Kyrie had to deal with his issue this season. Going into a contract year, you don’t want to put your fate into someone else’s hands.”
“There were setbacks over the course of the summer, rehab issues not dealt with the way they needed to be dealt with, and that set him back to start the year.”
“He’ll be ready [to play next season]; he’s already I think close to 100%. He’ll be fine going into the year… I think he’s reaching that point of 100% health.”
In regards to the Isaiah Thomas comment, he had the opportunity to sign a hefty contract this summer, but a hip injury near the end of the 2016-17 season that carried into his time with the Cleveland Cavaliers deterred this. Along with a midseason trade to the Los Angeles Lakers, Thomas’ value no longer seems to be a four-year max deal.
Kyrie Irving dealt with his own injuries this season, one year before his free agency. He still played in 60 games but missed the entire postseason and already had a history of health issues with the Cavaliers.
For Leonard, since he only played nine games and did not risk aggravation, it protected him to get healthy and still potentially sign that $219 million contract without value lost. If he and the Spurs have a positive meeting, will the deal transpire before the preseason?
Until Leonard and Gregg Popovich meet there’s only speculation around the former’s future in San Antonio. It’s among the NBA’s biggest topics of the summer and may conclude with $219 million, a trade, or nothing.