Spurs reportedly set to offer Kawhi $219M contract extension.
Kawhi Leonard has one guaranteed year left on his contract with the San Antonio Spurs, and it could be his last depending on the organization's ability to repair their relationship with the All-Star forward. The two sides have been at odds over Leonard's quadriceps injury, which limited him to just nine games this season despite the fact that the Spurs' medical team had cleared him to return to action late in the season.
On July 1, Leonard will be eligible to receive a five-year $219M "supermax" contract extension that will keep him with the Spurs through 2023. According to Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio Express-News, that's exactly what the team plans to do.
"Still, the Spurs hope to meet with Leonard and his representatives soon in a bid to mend fences and pave the way for Leonard to come to terms on a five-year $219 million supermax contract that he will be eligible to receive starting July 1. If attempts to patch up the relationship fail, the Spurs will be forced to explore trading a player coach Gregg Popovich once labeled “the future face of the franchise.”"
According to a report by ESPN's Ramona Shelburne and Michael C. Wright, several league sources expressed that San Antonio believes Leonard's group wants him to play in a bigger market, such as Los Angeles, New York or Philadelphia, which could lead to a trade demand next season.
"Multiple league sources also told ESPN that the Spurs have grown worried that Leonard's group has an ulterior motive to fray the relationship and get Leonard traded to a larger market like Los Angeles (Leonard's hometown) or New York or Philadelphia (Dennis Robertson, Kawhi's uncle, lives in New Jersey)."
Kawhi, who turns 27 next month, is expected to meet with Spurs management in the near future and there's a belief that he wants head coach Gregg Popovich to "lighten up a little with practice and tweak some things," according to Frank Isola of the New York Daily News. That meeting will likely dictate whether Leonard accepts the supermax extension or forces the Spurs to explore trade options.