Kawhi Leonard 'reaching 100 percent,' set to meet with Popovich soon, report says
Yahoo NBA writer says Leonard expected to be ready next season
SAN ANTONIO – Kawhi Leonard is almost fully healthy and set to meet with the Spurs and head coach Gregg Popovich soon, according to NBA Insider Shams Charania.
Charania appeared on Thursday’s Yahoo Sports NBA podcast to discuss the latest with Leonard among other NBA topics.
Host Chris Mannix asked about any ongoing issues between Leonard and the franchise.
“He’s always wanted to stay loyal to the Spurs,” Charania said. “Despite everything that has happened, they’ve haven’t shown inclination to go trade him, to go field offers yet.”
Leonard is expected to meet with Popovich before the NBA Draft on June 21 to determine what direction both sides will go. Leonard is eligible for the super-max contract worth $219 million over five years.
“There’s multiple routes to take, but it’s not rocket science,” Charania said. “Either these sides are going to come to a new deal or they are not, and they are going to look to move him.”
Charania added that Leonard has continued his rehab is expected to be ready next season.
“I think he’s reaching that point where’s he’s reaching 100 percent in health,” Charania said. “He’ll be fine going into the year.”
Another note in the podcast was Charania saying Leonard did not “necessarily go rogue” on the team last season and was present after the death of Erin Popovich, Gregg Popovich’s wife of four decades.
“He’s been around. He went to Gregg Popovich’s wife’s service shortly after the season ended,” Charania said. “People close to him made it clear he was there. He interacted with Spurs officials, with staffers. He’s been around.”
Leonard played in only nine games for San Antonio this season due to a quadriceps injury. There were reports throughout the year he was not happy in San Antonio.
“Biggest thing for him has just been I’m going to rehab my injury. He viewed the way Isaiah Thomas had to go through his hip issue last year, the way Kyrie (Irving) had to deal with his issue,” Charania said. “Going into a contract year, you don’t want to put any of your fate in someone else’s hands.”
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