Kawhi Leonard Reportedly Wants to Leave the Spurs

Kawhi Leonard with the San Antonio Spurs. Photo by Austin Mcafee/CSM/REX/Shutterstock

The drama surrounding San Antonio Spurs and their star player Kawhi Leonard is far from over. The latest reports from several NBA insiders, including ESPN‘s Chris Haynes and Yahoo Sports’ Shams Charania, say that Leonard is definitely looking to leave the Spurs organization as soon as possible.

According to sources close to the situation, Kawhi Leonard is disappointed with the way San Antonio Spurs handled his quad injury last season, and he lost his faith in the organization. ESPN‘s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that Los Angeles Lakers are Leonard’s preferred destination, but he still didn’t formally ask for a trade. Besides the Lakers, one of the possible landing spots for the 26-year-old is Boston Celtics, who reportedly already made an approach to Spurs about the player before February deadline.

Kawhi Leonard currently has two years left on his contract, but can opt-out in the summer of 2019 and become an unrestricted free agent. He is also eligible for supermax five-year, $219 million contract extension with the Spurs starting July 1st.

Kawhi Leonard’s desire to leave the franchise he started his NBA career doesn’t come as a shock, since he and Spurs were on bad terms for some time now. Everything started with Leonard suffering an ankle injury in Game 1 of the 2017 Western Conference Finals. He missed the rest of the playoffs, and the start of the 2017-18 season, returning in December and playing nine games before being ruled out indefinitely. Although Leonard was subsequently cleared as fit to play by San Antonio Spurs’ medical staff, he decided to look for another opinion and refused to play since he felt like he wasn’t ready to get back to the field. This led to trust issues between Leonard and Spurs, which ultimately made him want to leave the organization.