Rumors are widespread that things are not going very well between Kawhi Leonard and Spurs. Questions regarding his presence startled fans post the news about his fiasco with the management broke out. Considering the current facts, it must be understood that the speculations that took everyone by surprise are nothing but rumors that abhor a vacuum.
In order to clear the air, Leonard finally opened up on the issue, spoke to the media in a bid to quash all those rumors. He conveyed that the pain level with his quadriceps tendon issue is “diminishing” and he plans to return soon.
“Soon. I don’t have a set date right now. I just have to keep doing what I’m doing. The progression that I am making has been great. I just have to keep doing what I’m doing.”
Leonard added that he wishes to stay a Spur for his entire career. “Everything was done as a group. I don’t feel like nothing was friction. I talk to Pop (Gregg Popovich) every day. He knows what the progression was. He knew what I was doing the whole entire time, as well as the front office. We made a group decision, so it was me just going out and saying, ‘I am going to go out and do this thing.’ ”
On the other side, RC Buford, Spurs general manager earlier admitted that Leonard’s injury and slower-than-assumed recovery has been “difficult for everyone”. Contrary to that, everyone involved in this said that there was no real tension and it is the delay that created frustration for resulting the change in the Spurs season.
San Antonio has a decision to make for this year’s summer: Kawhi Leonard is currently eligible for a Designated Veteran contract extension that would lock him up with the Spurs for six seasons at around $200 million (or it might be a little short of that, depending upon the final salary cap numbers, but it would be the one guaranteed year remaining on his current deal at $20.1 million with additional five years after that at 35 percent of the salary cap).
In case of his return, he might appear like a vintage Leonard during the playoffs. Known for his game, he’s a top-five, franchise cornerstone player who already clinched a Finals MVP. But, this time, the circumstances are different and let us wait and see if Spurs can wait.