Latest posts by Ashish Mathur (see all)
- Nuggets’ Thomas joins Hart to talk Celtics, Cavs - September 11, 2018
- Sources: Celtics’ Irving, Hayward ‘look impressive’ in pickup play - September 7, 2018
- Griffin suggests Cavs’ Smith hasn’t been motivated to stay in shape - September 7, 2018
When Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili led a players-only meeting in which players asked Kawhi Leonard whether he planned to return this past season, Leonard was caught off guard by the meeting and viewed it as an ambush, according to a report from Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News.
Shortly after the meeting, Leonard left the team for New York to rehab his injury.
Parker’s comments about his quad injury being “a hundred times worse” than the ailment Leonard dealt with was the “last straw” for Leonard, according to ESPN reporter Adrian Wojnarowski.
Leonard officially became eligible for the supermax extension Monday, the new contract Leonard could now earn from the Spurs which would pay him $221 million over five years.
But that’s irrelevant now, as Leonard has not changed his stance and still wants to be traded from the Spurs.
San Antonio began fielding offers for Leonard before, during and immediately after the June 21 NBA draft. They listened to more pitches on July 1 when free agency began.
The Spurs want a grand offer in return for Leonard, a two-time Defensive Player of the Year and Finals MVP. The organization wants to build a roster which will keep them as a playoff-competitive team in the rugged Western Conference.
Leonard reportedly prefers to play for one of the teams in Los Angeles. There have been conflicting reports as of late, as some reports indicate Leonard is fixated on joining the Lakers, while other outlets are reporting he favors the Clippers now that LeBron James is on the Lakers.
The Sixers are willing to build a package around Dario Šarić, Robert Covington and multiple draft picks to acquire Leonard. They will not include Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid or Markelle Fultz.
Yahoo Sports reported the Spurs asked for Šarić, Covington, Fultz and three future first-round picks from the Sixers in exchange for Leonard.
If the Sixers decide to include Fultz, a deal could be agreed upon, as it will be difficult for another team to top their offer.
According to ESPN reporter Chris Haynes, the Sixers are the only East Coast team Leonard will consider re-signing with.
The Lakers have spoken to the Spurs on multiple occasions, but are unwilling to part ways with Brandon Ingram and Kyle Kuzma, two players San Antonio want in return for Leonard.
L.A. is operating under the impression that if they can’t acquire Leonard this summer, he will just sign with them when he becomes a free agent in 2019. But the Lakers should be careful with that logic, as Paul George was once thought to be a lock to be a Laker and now he’s in Oklahoma City for the long-haul after re-signing with the Thunder on a four-year deal.