It’s been a strange season in San Antonio, perhaps the strangest during the reign of coach Gregg Popovich and undoubtedly the strangest since Kawhi Leonard joined the team via the 2011 draft.
In case you haven’t been following the story, the Spurs and Leonard seem to have grown apart this season — with the All-Star forward appearing in just nine games after suffering a mysterious quad injury. He has twice left the Spurs to rehab the injury in New York.
The drama seemingly has given opposing teams hope that Leonard can be had in a trade this summer. And the Cavaliers are among those who are closely monitoring the situation in San Antonio, league sources told Amico Hoops on Tuesday.
Now, the Cavs certainly would not be alone in trying to pry Leonard from the Spurs. He is a two-time Defensive Player of the Year and generally known as a team-first guy who only cares about winning.
ESPN reported teams are “circling” the Spurs with an eye on Leonard, perhaps preparing offers to present around the time of the draft at the end of June.
“I have already talked to several NBA general managers,” ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said during an appearance on Outside the Lines. “At the end of this season, teams will call the Spurs and inquire about the availability of Leonard.”
It just so happens that the Cavs own a lottery pick, via the Brooklyn Nets. But it’s much too early to do anything beyond speculate whether they would be willing to part with it for a player such as Leonard. It’s not too early to say that if the Cavs did call about Leonard, the Spurs would likely center any talks on the Brooklyn pick.
But again, it hasn’t come close to that type of hypothetical, sources indicated.
Right now, the Cavs (48-30) are focused on the task at hand, having won nine of 10 after Tuesday’s 112-106 victory over the visiting Toronto Raptors. With the playoffs a little more than a week away, the three-time defending Eastern Conference champions still have a roster spot to fill.
The goal is to play for another championship, with the offseason priority being to take care of their own (read: LeBron James) in free agency.
Still, the Leonard thing is out there, and as long as it is, the Cavs apparently will have an interest.