Posts Tagged ‘#KawhiLeonard #SPURS #NBA2018PLAYOFFS’

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As the San Antonio Spurs attempt to salvage their relationship with Kawhi Leonard, there is reportedly belief within the organization that the star’s camp is aiming to get him more into the national spotlight.

Per ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne and Michael C. Wright, multiple league sources revealed San Antonio believes Leonard’s group wants him to play in a bigger market, such as Los Angeles, New York or Philadelphia. That could lead to a trade demand as Leonard enters the final year of his contract.

A quadriceps injury limited Leonard to just nine regular-season games this past season, and the Golden State Warriors eliminated the Spurs in five games in the opening round of the 2018 NBA playoffs.

Leonard missed the first 27 games of the season due to the injury and was eased back into action when he returned. However, after just nine appearances over a 17-game stretch, he did not play after Jan. 13.

He averaged 16.2 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game this season.

The injury lingered over the team the rest of the season. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Wright reported the seventh-year forward had been “distant” and “disconnected” from San Antonio. Following that, ESPN’s Jalen Rose reported Leonard wanted a trade.

Wright noted last week that “an all-hands-on-deck summer meeting” with Leonard is a priority for the Spurs this offseason. As a $200-million-plus max contract offer could soon loom, the organization wants to see if the two sides can work things out or if the relationship is beyond repair.

Among Leonard’s complaints in San Antonio, per the New York Daily News‘ Frank Isola, is that he wants coach Gregg Popovich to “lighten up a little with practice and tweak some things.”

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Phil Jackson might not be running the ship in New York anymore, but that doesn’t mean the downtrodden New York Knicks won’t look to move star forward Kristaps Porzingis.

Obviously, said deal would have to bring in an equal star for a Knicks squad that has not earned a playoff spot since the 2012-13 season.

According to Frank Isola of the NY Daily News, said trade could potentially include Kawhi Leonard making his way from San Antonio to the Big Apple for Porzingis.

“ONE PLAUSIBLE OPTION IS TO TRADE LEONARD, WHICH SHOULD BE OF INTEREST TO THE KNICKS,” ISOLA NOTED. “ANY DEAL FOR LEONARD WOULD HAVE TO INCLUDE KRISTAPS PORZINGIS, WHOM THE SPURS ARE SAID TO BE HEAD OVER HEELS WITH, AS WELL AS A FIRST-ROUND PICK. IT’S A STEEP PRICE, BUT THE ADDITION OF LEONARD PLUS AVAILABLE CAP SPACE IN THE SUMMER OF 2019 COULD DRAMATICALLY ALTER THE COURSE OF HISTORY FOR THE STAR-CROSSED FRANCHISE.”

Why would the Knicks even consider trading the face of their franchise for an injured star that just so happens to be years older? First off, Porzingis is coming off a torn ACL himself and has had multiple injury issues in his first three seasons with the Knicks.

Despite missing all but a couple handfuls of games this past regular season, Leonard has a more proven track record. He’s a former MVP candidate.

Discussions surrounding a potential Leonard trade from the Spurs have heated up in recent weeks. There seems to be a rift between the former NBA Defensive Player of the Year and his organization. If Leonard is indeed put on the block, Porzingis would have to be seen as the best possible option in a trade for the Spurs.

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LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard

In the midst of a rupture between the San Antonio Spurs and star forward Kawhi Leonard, rumors of a potential trade this offseason have run rampant.

Taking part on ESPN’s SportsNation, Brian Windhorst revealed that Leonard’ destination would have a “direct impact” on where LeBron James ends up after this season.

He painted an even more shocking scenario which would include the Philadelphia 76ers not only trading for Kawhi Leonard, but also managing to acquire James in the offseason.

“If the Cavs get knocked out before The Finals, and LeBron has six weeks to think about things and six months to get in touch with Kawhi things could get a little crazy,” said Windhorst.

While Windhorst didn’t expand into the actual working lines of a potential trade, it is possible under the current cap rules due to the Sixers’ immense flexibility, it could prove as a huge venture if they refuse to give any of their key assets in return for Leonard.

As it sits, J.J. Redick is the highest paid player in the roster this season, as he was signed to a one-year, $23 million balloon deal this summer. Next season, it would be Joel Embiid, who will start the first season of his five-year $146.5 million extension.

The Sixers could move Robert Covington for two reasons — he is the second-highest paid player ($10 million) coming into next season and also possesses many of Leonard’s defensive abilities, along with playing the same position.

Where things get complicated is deciding which young asset to package — Ben Simmons, Markelle Fultz, and Dario Saric are all making under $8.5 million next season, and giving up a young player, a rotation player, and a draft pick to compensate for the gap in salary may be too much for the Sixers to do, albeit possible.

Spurs All-Star Kawhi Leonard is expected to miss the remainder of the postseason with the intent of fully rehabilitating his injured right quadriceps, Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports reports.

We noted earlier today that Leonard has remained in New York to continue his rehab in hopes of returning this season. However, it appears that after months of speculation, Leonard’s 2017/18 season is over and his future in San Antonio becomes the focal point.

The 26-year-old appeared in just nine games this season, averaging 16.2 PPG, 4.7 RPG, and 2.3 APG in 23.3 minutes per contest. Leonard missed the first 27 games of the season, then appeared in nine midseason contests, suffering a partial tear in his left shoulder in early January. He has not played since January 13 as he rehabs his right quadriceps tendinopathy.

Leonard finished third in NBA Most Valuable Player voting last season behind winner Russell Westbrook and runner-up James Harden.

Without Leonard, the Spurs still made the postseason as the seventh seed with a 47-35 record. San Antonio suffered a 113-92 Game 1 defeat to the Warriors on Saturday and will have to battle Golden State without their two-time Defensive Player of the Year.

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