Months ago, on January 17, the San Antonio Spurs announced forward Kawhi Leonard would be out indefinitely as he continues his rehabilitation process from right quadriceps tendinopathy. On March 26, Leonard went to New York to continue the rehabilitation process under the observation of his medical team with Spurs staff also in attendance.
Saturday and Sunday, multiple reports were released regarding Leonard, including a report that states he is expected to miss the remainder of the 2018 playoffs.
According to Shams Charania of Yahoo! Sports Sunday, Leonard is expected to miss the remainder of the postseason. Leonard has continued to rehab in New York City with his medical team while being monitored by Spurs staff, but, it seems there won’t be enough time for Leonard to return during the Spurs’ playoff run. According to the report, Leonard is expected to continue rehabbing to try to return to full health.
This isn’t a surprise considering Spurs Head Coach Gregg Popovich said earlier this season he’d be “surprised” if Leonard returned this season. Spurs players have also been quoted as saying mentally they’ve prepared themselves to continue playing like Leonard won’t return this season.
One interesting note from an article by Jabari Young of the San Antonio Express-News revealed that according to some league executives, there’s a “feeling” the Spurs might not offer Leonard the five-year $219 million super max extension this summer, and instead, the Spurs might look to a future where Leonard isn’t on the team anymore.
Saturday, Sam Amick of USA Today wrote that according to his sources, should Leonard become available via trade, the Los Angeles Clippers would be one of the team’s willing to call the Spurs with trade packages for Leonard. The Clippers have two first round picks this year in the upcoming 2018 draft at possibly number 12 and 13.
Moving away from the Leonard news, Spurs Assistant Coach Ettore Messina found his name in the news too, as the Charlotte Hornets have been granted permission to interview Messina for their head coaching position, per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.com. Messina and new Hornets General Manager Mitch Kupchak worked together for a brief time with the Los Angeles Lakers.