Report: List of Kawhi suitors grows as Leonard strongly considering USA camp

Gregg Popovich is head coach of team that will compete in 2020 Tokyo Olympics

(AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)
(AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)

Kawhi Leonard could be back on the court soon playing for coach Gregg Popovich, just not wearing Spurs colors.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne reported Tuesday that Leonard is strongly considering participating in the Team USA basketball mini-camp next week in Las Vegas.

Popovich will be the head coach of the men’s USA basketball team for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Leonard has largely stayed out of the public eye since reports surfaced last month that he wanted to be traded from the Spurs.

Leonard and Popovich reportedly met in San Diego days later to determine if the two sides could repair the relationship.

There has been little to no public news since the meeting, except for Spurs general manager R.C. Buford publicly stating on draft night that the franchise had every intention to keep Leonard in San Antonio.

Wojnarowski reported Leonard still insists on being traded to the Los Angeles Lakers and could use the camp to showcase he is fully healthy from a quadriceps injury that forced him to miss 73 regular season games and the playoffs.

The Spurs have reportedly fielded calls from several teams interested in trading for Leonard, but a deal has not been reached, largely in part due to teams not willing to trade for the all-star forward with the public knowledge he wants to leave to Los Angeles next summer via free agency.

Toronto was reported to be the latest favorite to land Leonard in a trade, but Wojnarowski and Shelburne added that Denver, Phoenix, Portland and Washington have spoken with San Antonio about a potential deal.

Adding to the drama, Leonard is now eligible to receive a 5-year, $221 million supermax extension with San Antonio, but there has been no indication if he would want to sign the deal or if the Spurs have made an official offer.

The USA basketball mini-camp will run from July 25-27. Leonard is one of 35 players named to the USA national team roster. 

The list will be trimmed to a 12-player roster that will represent the United States in Tokyo.

About the Author:

RJ Marquez has been at KSAT since 2010. He's covered a variety of stories and events across the San Antonio area, and is the lead reporter for KSAT Explains. He also covers the Spurs for on-air and digital platforms. You can see RJ regularly on KSAT Explains and Good Morning San Antonio. He also writes a weekly Spurs newsletter.