Report: Kawhi Leonard ‘adamant’ he wants to leave Spurs before season

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Kawhi Leonard put out word a couple weeks ago he wants to leave the Spurs, ideally for the Lakers. His camp even used words like betrayal.

But since Leonard and San Antonio president-coach Gregg Popovich met in San Diego last week, we haven’t heard much.

There was a rumor Leonard told Popovich directly he wanted out. Otherwise, the Spurs have shown no urgency to move Leonard. The draft came and went without a deal or even talk of anything getting close. San Antonio general manager R.C. Buford said the Spurs’ preference was to keep Leonard.

Are both sides working toward repairing their relationship? Could they at least start the season together?

Adrian Wojnarowski, Brian Windhorst and Ramona Shelburne of ESPN:

Leonard has been adamant that he doesn’t want to step into the San Antonio locker room again, and the Spurs have been adamant that they won’t be forced into a trade, or a timetable, prior to the February trading deadline, league sources said.

Obviously, something must give.

The Lakers – with an eye toward LeBron James and maybe even Paul George – are trying to pry Leonard from San Antonio. Other teams are definitely interested.

But the Spurs, who’ve never faced a crisis like this, aren’t rushing.

Would Leonard threaten to sit out to get what he wants? San Antonio essentially accused him of doing that last year. Leonard insisted he was legitimately injured (and misdiagnosed by the Spurs), but he’s nearing full health now. Could he follow Kyrie Irving‘s reported lead on this?

Maybe, despite all his agitating now, Leonard would just show up and work hard. That’s usually how this goes. He can become an unrestricted free agent in 2019, so it’s not as if he’d be stuck in San Antonio for long.

But if the Spurs don’t trade him this summer, there will be big questions for them and Leonard come fall.