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Kawhi Leonard wants out from the San Antonio Spurs, according to reports from Yahoo Sports and ESPN.
Leonard has grown uncomfortable with the Spurs and is ready to move on from the franchise, the reports indicated.
The two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year only played in nine games this past season because of a lingering quadriceps injury. He was cleared by team doctors to return but was never cleared by his own doctors to play.
Per ESPN, Leonard has Los Angeles as his preferred destination, with an eye on the Lakers.
San Antonio’s Kawhi Leonard has Los Angeles — preferably the Lakers — at the center of his preferences for a trade destination, league sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 15, 2018
The Spurs’ brass was planning to have an all-hands-on-deck summer meeting with Leonard in the hopes of working out their differences and continue what has been largely a positive and productive partnership up until this year, but it appears Leonard is not interested in a return.
San Antonio, who can offer Leonard the supermax extension, has been rejecting all trade offers for Leonard up until this point. Multiple executives around the league who spoke to Sporting News back in May projected that the Lakers were expected to go after Leonard this summer.
“Leonard isn’t concerned about missing out on the supermax (contract),” Chris Haynes of ESPN tweeted. “There’s a feeling of betrayal that at this juncture, appears irreparable.”
Spurs veterans Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili led a players-only meeting in April in which players asked Leonard whether he planned to return this season. Leonard was reportedly caught off guard by the meeting.
Parker also told the media that the quad injury he suffered last season was “a hundred times worse” than Leonard’s.
The Spurs are under no obligation to trade Leonard where he wishes to go. The Philadelphia 76ers and Cleveland Cavaliers have also displayed a strong interest in Leonard.
Per ESPN, people in Leonard’s camp would like to see him on the New York Knicks. The Clippers are also an option.
The Boston Celtics, who offered the Spurs a trade package in February for Leonard, will pursue the swingman again this offseason.