Spurs' Gregg Popovich Meets With Kawhi Leonard In Cali

Rudy Gay will reportedly decline his $8.8 million player option with the San Antonio Spurs next season. More

Gregg Popovich and Kawhi Leonard met Tuesday, but it's not expected to lead to a long-term reconciliation, according to an ESPN report.

Leonard did not want the meeting and has been making himself hard to reach for the Spurs on objective, according to ESPN's report.

According to ESPN, Leonard would prefer a trade to Los Angeles, with the Lakers being his preference over the Clippers. He has privately maintained that he no longer wants to play in San Antonio, and will eventually alert rival teams considering trades for him that his intention is to sign in Los Angeles - preferably with the Lakers - when he can become a free agent in 2019, league sources said. In particular, ESPN reported that Leonard is "irate" over public comments from Popovich and teammate Tony Parker as his absence wore on.

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Midway through last season, after rehabbing his injury, Leonard was cleared to play by the Spurs medical staff, but he insisted on a second opinion from his own doctors and ended up spending the all-star break consulting a specialist and rehabbing further.

Leonard, a two-time Defensive Player of the Year, has played all seven of his National Basketball Association seasons with the Spurs.

The 26-year-old Leonard is entering the final guaranteed year of his contract and is eligible for a supermax extension worth up to $219 million over five years if he stays with San Antonio.

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Leonard, who turns 27 later this month, has been the subject of trade speculation for months after last season produced extensive tension between him and the team over the handling of his quadriceps tendinopathy, which limited Leonard to just nine games, during which he averaged 16.2 points and 4.7 rebounds. He has a player option for the following season which he would decline to become a free agent.

If Leonard affirmed his desire to leave the Spurs, it's possible the front office could begin seriously engaging with other teams in trade talks, with the hopes of netting a deal they like on draft night.

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