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Monday, January 21, 2019

Report: Kawhi Leonard has to convince Spurs to offer him supermax contract

Kawhi Leonard

The San Antonio Spurs can offer Kawhi Leonard significantly more than any other team with a contract extension, but they have to be certain the relationship between the star forward and the team is on solid ground before going that route. Apparently they are not there just yet.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said on “Get Up!” Wednesday morning that Leonard is going to have to convince Spurs coach Gregg Popovich and the team’s front office that he is fully invested going forward before they offer him a $219 million supermax deal.

“What Leonard’s gonna have to do is really convey to Popovich that he is invested in the Spurs organization and that he wants to be a part of it,” Wojnarowski reported. “That’s going to have to happen, I’m told, before he’s going to get that $219 million offer that he is eligible for, that supermax that the Spurs can pay him and no one else in the league can pay him.

“I’m told that Leonard and his camp would like to be offered it and would like to start to talk about that kind of a future with San Antonio, but so much has gone on in the last year — Leonard taking his medical outside of the team, the disconnect between him and the organization over the last several months. That conversation, and perhaps a series of conversations, are gonna be paramount to Leonard’s future in San Antonio.”

Leonard is eligible for the supermax deal because he was named an All-Pro for the 2016-2017 season. Teams can give one such contract out, and Leonard would be an obvious choice for it in San Antonio if not for all the drama surrounding his quad injury this past season.

When you take the money into account, it’s no surprise we have heard reports indicating Leonard does not want to leave the Spurs. In an ideal world, Leonard would come out healthy and ready to play next season and the past would be forgotten. However, you can understand why the situation is a bit more complicated than that with $219 million guaranteed on the line.

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