The situation between Kawhi Leonard and the Spurs has been covered ad nauseam over the past few months.
Leonard was cleared to return to action months ago from his quad injury but decided to seek a second opinion and opted not to return to the team this season as they were defeated by the Warriors in five games in Round 1.
There have been murmurs of a rift between Leonard and the organization along with reassurance that he will be a Spur next season.
We have what may be the juiciest rumor yet on where Leonard and the Spurs stand this summer.
Courtesy of Ramona Shelburne and Michael C. Wright of ESPN:
“Multiple league sources also told ESPN that the Spurs have grown worried that Leonard’s group has an ulterior motive to fray the relationship and get Leonard traded to a larger market like Los Angeles (Leonard’s hometown) or New York or Philadelphia (Robertson lives in New Jersey).
One source close to general manager R.C. Buford said the longtime executive admitted to him that he’s constantly losing sleep over how and why the relationship with Leonard has disintegrated.”
Leonard’s camp believes his condition is the result of a series of contusions to the quadriceps that began with one very deep bruise in March 2016 that caused him to miss three games. Leonard was again listed with a “quad contusion” on the Feb. 6, 2017, injury report, when he was a late scratch before a game. But it wasn’t until the end of last season when the severity of the injury became apparent.
According to multiple sources, Leonard’s camp has come to believe the issue has more to do with an ossification or hardening in the area where the muscle has been repeatedly bruised and then an atrophying, which in turn affected the tendons connecting the muscle to the knee.
The treatment course for each diagnosis (a muscle issue vs. a tendon issue) is different, which has become another source of tension in the relationship.
This article sheds way more light on a lot of the confusion surrounding Leonard’s health status this season and where his head space may be at at the moment.
While the idea of being a star in Los Angeles or New York would be enticing to any professional athlete, trying to maneuver his way out of the most well-run organization in the NBA and the best coach in NBA history in my opinion to join a Clippers team in limbo or a Lakers team that hasn’t made the playoffs in half of a decade or a Knicks team with a star coming off of a torn ACL and a subpar roster would be a mistake in my opinion.
There is one destination that would make sense and strike fear into the hearts of every other franchise in the NBA, a trade to the 76ers to team up with Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons.
We are in for another wild ride this summer…