SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich flew to California on Tuesday and reportedly met with disgruntled star forward Kawhi Leonard.
The new report from ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne and Adrian Wojnarowski says the pair met face-to-face to discuss frustrations Leonard has with the franchise.
According to Yahoo Sports, the meeting between Popovich and Leonard had been planned for weeks and was not a direct response to Leonard’s desire for a trade becoming public.
Early indications say the meeting was good conversation and that more dialogue is expected in the future.
This past season, Leonard played in only nine games for the Spurs due to a quadriceps injury and did not play in San Antonio’s first round playoff series against the Golden State Warriors. League sources say Leonard has been unhappy with how the team handled his injury.
The new ESPN report says Leonard desires to be traded out of San Antonio, preferably to the Los Angeles Lakers after growing up in California and attending San Diego State. It also says that Leonard told confidants he originally did not want to sit down with Popovich and that he has been intentionally difficult to reach.
The six-foot-seven Leonard is a former NBA Finals MVP and is a two-time Defensive Player of the Year. Should the team elect to trade him, they would have no shortage of suitors.
Leonard can become an unrestricted free agent in 2019 and is eligible this off-season for a five-year, super-max contract worth $219 million.
This is a developing story. Stay with KSAT 12 both online and on-air for more information.