Photo Courtesy: USA Today

The San Antonio Saga Continues

The Kawhi Leonard Latest

June 20, 2018 - 10:37 am
Categories: 

By Austin Medina  

Let’s face it. The Spurs have mishandled the entire Kawhi Leonard situation.

It all started when Leonard was undercut by Warriors center Zaza Pachulia, who ended Leonard’s season and the Spurs hopes of an NBA Finals appearance.

He came back after missing the first 27 games of the season after his quadriceps injury. A few games after his debut, Leonard suffered a partial tear in his shoulder though returned three days later.

After being rushed back to action, Leonard sat out even after being cleared by the Spurs’ doctors. Leonard wouldn’t return for the remainder of the season and wasn’t on the sidelines as his Spurs were bounced from the playoffs.

Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich and future Hall-of-Famer Tony Parker spoke publicly against Leonard’s injury, which has made the situation worse.

News from Leonard’s camp has made it clear that he wants to be traded.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski, Leonard has interest in being traded to Los Angeles, preferably the Lakers.

The Spurs are in a bind here because we’re talking about Kawhi Leonard. Leonard is a two-time Defensive Player of the Year, a Finals champion and MVP in 2014, and arguably a top-3 player in the NBA.

The Spurs will have a hard time getting a package in return that is remotely close to Leonard’s talent. It’s hard to get the full worth for Leonard as he’s set to become a free agent after next season. Teams, other than the Lakers and Clippers, will worry that Leonard won’t sign back after the season and can’t afford to trade boatloads of talent for a potential one-year rental.

Another problem is that teams trading for Kawhi are worried about the severity of his injury. He played in just nine games last year.

The #Lakers and #Clippers have not engaged in trade discussions with the #Spurs as both teams have concerns about the severity of #KawhiLeonard's injury. #TOPBALL

A post shared by Top Ball (@top.ball.coverage) on

The Spurs have announced that they will wait until after the NBA Draft before making a decision on Leonard’s future.

Who knows what would have happened if the Spurs handled Leonard’s injury the right way from the beginning. Perhaps there wouldn’t be a fractured trust and Leonard could have signed a supermax deal to stay in San Antonio.

It’s clear that Leonard wants out of San Antonio and wants to be in Los Angeles. For now, the move is in the Spurs hands.