NBA offseason: What’s next for Kawhi Leonard?
With the NBA offseason well underway, one thing remains on everyone’s mind (besides where Lebron is going next) is: what’s next for Kawhi Leonard?
The San Antonio Spurs small forward has been at the center of the free agency rumors ever since he publicly expressed his desire to be traded away. But will that even happen? And if it does, where will he go?
Before we dive into those questions, let me remind you of the tumultuous year (or past few years if you’ve really been paying attention) Leonard has had.
San Antonio appeared to be a perfect fit for Kawhi and he, in turn, looked like the perfect player to lead the Spurs in the post-Duncan era.
But as we all know, all that glitters is not gold.
One year after leading the Spurs to the conference finals and finishing third in the voting for Most Valuable Player, Leonard missed 73 games with an injury to his right quad. Now hold on, because this is where things get really messy.
He hasn’t since made a decent comeback, having played nine games last season before leaving with a quad/hammy/ankle/back/tummy ache injury (seriously, that’s how much confusion there’s been around his injury). This led to an exceptionally weird situation throughout the year where updates on Leonard’s progress were shrouded in ambiguity, and apparently distrust.
Even head coach, Greg Popovich, who’s a man of little to almost no words, tried to sit down with Leonard to talk him out of getting traded, but Kawhi simply wants out.
Kawhi has been adamant of going back home to LA and honestly he should go to LA. He feels most comfortable there, he’s around his family and the Staples Center isn’t far from where he played in high school.
PLUS the Lakers are the most fun choice on the board just to imagine a team with Kawhi and LeBron James challenging the Warriors.
The problem is that, while the Lakers have cap space and a handful of young players, they don’t have anything in the way of premium picks. But still — the young bucks or Kawhi AND Lebron?
The answer should be as clear as top coat nail polish.