The Spurs and Kawhi Leonard were supposed to be a match made in heaven. Leonard seemed happy being the face of a franchise that never wants attention. Tim Duncan retired and right there was Leonard ready to be the new player they built around.
However, a nagging quad injury from this season has literally put a strain on Leonard and the Spurs' relationship. Leonard only played nine games Warriors in five games.Leonard was never comfortable taking the floor and his absence clearly hurt the Spurs' season, which officially ended Tuesday after getting eliminated from the playoffs by the
The Spurs have a big, looming issue they need to solve in the offseason: What do they do about Leonard? According to ESPN, the team has prioritized a planned meeting with Leonard to see what went wrong and if the two sides can mend their relationship.
An all-hands-on-deck summer meeting with star forward Kawhi Leonard sits high on the priority list for the San Antonio Spurs, according to sources, as the team enters a pivotal offseason in the wake of Tuesday's 99-91 season-ending loss to the Golden State Warriors in Game 5 of the Western Conference playoffs.
With head coach Gregg Popovich expected to take the lead, the Spurs plan to meet with Leonard over the summer to gauge whether the sides can work out their differences and continue what has been largely a positive and productive partnership, sources said.
Not only will the Spurs need to solve their relationship with Leonard, but they'll have to make a decision on his contract. Leonard qualifies to be paid the super max contract extension, but do the Spurs trust him enough to pay him that kind of money after what they just endured with him? Does he still have the trust of his teammates?
"While the decision regarding whether to offer Leonard a $219 million supermax extension rests with management -- and even the current players, according to a source -- ownership ultimately makes the final call."
What happens with Leonard could decide the entire future of the Spurs organization. San Antonio has been one of the most consistent franchises in all of sports. The Spurs haven't missed the playoffs since the 1996-97 season. If Leonard stays, then it's a safe bet that they'll continue this consistency. If he leaves? Then their entire future, and where they choose to go from there, is a mystery.