San Antonio Spurs News

San Antonio Spurs: Kawhi Leonard and the strangeness of USA Basketball

By Rob Wolkenbrod
SAN ANTONIO,TX - APRIL 19: Kawhi Leonard #2 of the San Antonio Spurs shares a laugh with head coach Gregg Popovich of game two of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2016 NBA Playoffs at AT&T Center on April 19, 2016 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 - APRIL 19: Kawhi Leonard #2 of the San Antonio Spurs shares a laugh with head coach Gregg Popovich of game two of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2016 NBA Playoffs at AT&T Center on April 19, 2016 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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Amidst the Kawhi Leonard turmoil with the San Antonio Spurs, the most awkward part of the saga has yet to arrive.

The Kawhi Leonard saga with the San Antonio Spurs may have some clarity, as the Toronto Raptors apparently sit in the lead for the former MVP candidate’s superstar-making plays. However, there’s still no timetable on when a trade could happen.

The Spurs can drag this situation through July, August and into the first half of September, before training camp and the preseason arrives. While that timeframe may seem quiet, there’s one landmark day on the way and it’s not too far on the calendar.

Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich will helm the USA Basketball team for their run in the 2019 FIBA World Championships and the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan. One of the first preparation sessions for this is the two-day mini-camp, which starts on July 25.

Can you guess who’s on that roster? None other than Leonard himself. There has been no reported indication that he will miss this mini-camp. So, given how soon this is, an awkward meeting of the minds between Leonard and Popovich will come to fruition.

Will the Leonard saga be resolved that soon? Given its run through the offseason and San Antonio’s willingness to wait, maybe not. Meaning Leonard and Popovich, who controls this player’s basketball future for the 2018-19 season, will be in the same building for two days, unless something changes and sends this in another direction.

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If Leonard shows up as a member of the Spurs, it only adds more fuel to the fire of this never-ending offseason storyline. Especially if photos or videos show him and Popovich together at the mini-camp, making for another odd chapter. For an offseason that’s already provided the most unusual circumstances in recent Spurs history, it’s only about to take another turn for the worst.

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