San Antonio Spurs News

David Robinson on Kawhi Leonard rumors in the media

By Rob Wolkenbrod
SAN ANTONIO,TX - OCTOBER 18: Former Spurs David Robinson joins injured Kawhi Leonard #2 of the San Antonio Spurs during the national anthem before the game against the Minnesota Timberwolves at AT&T Center on October 18, 2017 in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that , by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images)
SAN ANTONIO,TX - OCTOBER 18: Former Spurs David Robinson joins injured Kawhi Leonard #2 of the San Antonio Spurs during the national anthem before the game against the Minnesota Timberwolves at AT&T Center on October 18, 2017 in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that , by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images)
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In speaking with FanSided’s The Step Back, David Robinson thinks the San Antonio Spurs management will eventually figure out the Kawhi Leonard saga.

As the 2018 NBA Draft nears, and with July 1 not far behind, the San Antonio Spurs have become a main talking point for it all, as Kawhi Leonard reportedly wants out of the team that traded for him in 2011. It’s the culmination of a months-long saga that started with Leonard’s right quadriceps injury last fall.

There’s no reported timetable for when the Spurs may trade Leonard, but Thursday’s draft is one avenue; it’s a full night of activity, not only selecting players from college and overseas, and features trades for picks and veteran NBA players.

Will something happen, though? That remains to be seen, as it’s also possible nothing transpires this summer and Leonard remains with the team. Spurs legend Robinson spoke to Ian Levy of FanSided’s The Step Back just hours before the draft and indicated he thinks management will eventually “figure that one out.”

It’s been interesting to watch how the media handles all that. I mean, it would be a pretty big deal if he leaves obviously, but we have a pretty good track record of kind of managing our business down there and actually talking to people, not going through the media. You know, I like Pop and I like R.C. [Buford] and I think they’ll probably figure that one out.

San Antonio managed to keep most of the LaMarcus Aldridge rumors behind the scenes last summer, around this time. He wanted out after two seasons in the Alamo City, but a heart-to-heart conversation with Gregg Popovich cooled the tension and eventually led to a lucrative three-year extension for the Texas product.

It’s hardly the same situation, however, as Aldridge’s unhappiness became apparent for a short span around the 2017 NBA Draft. The Leonard saga has taken months, with reports of his tension with the Spurs that dates back to January.  

Maybe Popovich and R.C. Buford manage to sort out the chaos and re-sign Leonard to the much-discussed five-year, $219 million deal. It would be an upset, based on the events of the past six days, and keep things status quo in San Antonio. Easier said than done, though, especially if the organization does not want to risk coming out empty handed in the summer of 2019.

Next: 2018 NBA Mock Draft: The final edition

That leaves a potential trade option open Thursday night, when the San Antonio Spurs can capitalize on the young, incoming talent they want now and not wait until after the draft to receive a 2019 selection. This would mean the front office can’t figure this out, a landmark occurrence in franchise history, under this current regime.

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