Kawhi reportedly wants Pop to "lighten up a little with practice."
San Antonio Spurs' All-Star forward Kawhi Leonard reportedly wants head coach Gregg Popovich to "tweak some things" if he's going to sign a long-term extension with the team.
According to Frank Isola of the New York Daily News, Kawhi is expected to meet with Spurs management in the near future and there's a belief that he wants Popovich to "lighten up a little with practice."
"Don't you have to sign him," a rival executive said, according to Frank Isola. "From what I understand, he wants Popovich to lighten up a little with practice and tweak some things. The Spurs may not want to change their ways, but this is Kawhi Leonard we're talking about."
The rift between Kawhi and the Spurs organization is centered around his decision to sit out towards the end of the season, despite being medically cleared to return by San Antonio's staff. Leonard instead left the team to rehab his quadriceps injury with his own medical staff, who advised him not to return to the court.
In the nine games he played in this season, Leonard averaged 16.2 points and 4.7 rebounds in a little over 23 minutes per game. He has one guaranteed year left on his contract, as well as a player option for the 2019-20 season. The Spurs can sign him to a five-year "super max" extension as early as this summer, or they can seek a trade for the 27-year old star.