Report: Kawhi Leonard, Gregg Popovich met Tuesday
By Ryan Kostrzewa
San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich reportedly met with Kawhi Leonard, who will seek a trade this summer, in Los Angeles, presumably to discuss his future with the team.
Yahoo Sports’ Shams Charania reported on Tuesday night that San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich met with Kawhi Leonard in advance of Thursday night’s NBA draft. Jabari Young from the San Antonio Express-News confirmed the report, adding that the conversation between the two parties was “good”.
Spurs' Kawhi Leonard and Gregg Popovich met on Tuesday in San Diego, league sources tell Yahoo.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 20, 2018
Told Kawhi and Popovich did meet today, described as a “good” conversation. Expecting more dialogue in the future #Spurs #NBA
— Jabari Young (@JabariJYoung) June 20, 2018
Sam Amick of USA Today also added that this meeting was not a response to Leonard’s trade desire, as it had been planned for “weeks.”
Interesting follow-up note on today's meeting between Kawhi Leonard and Gregg Popovich in San Diego: This had been scheduled for weeks, I'm told, and was not a response to Kawhi's desire to be traded going public recently.
— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) June 20, 2018
Following reports on Friday, indicating Leonard’s desire for a trade from San Antonio, the time is coming when the Spurs will have to make a decision on whether or not to actually move the once Finals MVP. If Leonard and Popovich did indeed meet, the former’s future with the Silver and Black should be obvious to the front office after a season of speculation and questions.
If Leonard affirmed his desire to leave the Spurs, it’s possible the front office could begin seriously engaging with other teams in trade talks, with the hopes of netting a deal they like on draft night. Proximity to the draft is likely to be the driving force behind this meeting, but it doesn’t mean the Spurs will move Leonard by Thursday night.
Even if Leonard does indicate his desire to move on, the Spurs probably won’t rush a deal if they don’t see one to their liking. But if the organization can snag a top five pick for their star, you would have to think they at least consider the option.
Next: 2018 NBA Mock Draft: The final edition
What do you think Spurs fans? Will Leonard still be with the Spurs following the draft on Thursday night? Let’s see what unfolds.