On May 25, San Antonio Spurs guard Danny Green appeared on the ESPN morning show Get Up. During the interview with Michelle Beadle, Jalen Rose, and Mike Greenberg, Green was asked several questions about the ongoing Kawhi Leonard situation and Green’s own decision this summer on whether to become a free agent.
On the Leonard situation, Green says everything is still ‘up in the air,’ but Leonard has told him he wants to remain in San Antonio.
“That’s a good question,” said Green. “I check up with him here and there, see how he’s doing. I think at the point of the season where he started to get healthy it was tough to bring him back. I think he made a decision, where ‘I’m just going to get healthy.’ It’s very normal, it’s very common for guys to get a second opinion. Things were happening throughout the year where he’s feeling good but then he would go back and his injury was hurting him some, so he got a second opinion, he didn’t like how it was going, said he wasn’t doing the right things and started getting on track to do better things to help him and it’s up in the air right now. But, I do think he wants to be in San Antonio. He’s let me know that. He’s let me know verbally he’s wanted to be there, so, we’ll see what happens.”
Leonard appeared in just nine games this past season after right quadriceps tendinopathy plagued him from the preseason up until the end of the season. While Leonard is still under contract for next season and then he has a player option in the summer of 2019, his future with the Spurs will most likely be decided this offseason and whether the Spurs do or don’t offer him the $219 million super-max extension he’s eligible to sign July 6.
Throughout the season, Green and his teammates were asked about the Leonard injury situation, and he noted, that even the players knew just about as much as the media regarding Leonard’s situation.
“Well we told the media all the answers we knew, and we didn’t know much about it either,” responded Green to the panel. “They asked us what was wrong with him, what’s going on, and we kept in the loop as much as we could. We talked to him. Honestly, I don’t think he knew as much where he was at health-wise. He knew he was feeling better, but he didn’t know if he could sustain that health throughout the whole season. Each game, he’d play 15 or 20 minutes and be okay, but the next day he would feel weird or hurt more. We knew as much as you guys (the media) knew. And we kept in the loop as much as we could, but the only person who really knew was Kawhi and his camp that was working out with him in New York.”
Toward the end of the season, Leonard finished the season and the Spurs’ first round playoff run away from the team rehabbing in New York under his own medical team with Spurs supervision.
On the players only meeting that took place after the Spurs’ March 17 victory over the Timberwolves, Green said the media made it seem like a bigger deal than it was.
“No, not at all,” said Green of how the meeting was portrayed from the media. “They tried to make it a big deal that we had this team meeting and we were all attacking Kawhi, but that wasn’t the case. Our team is not like that. We don’t have that type of characters where guys are beefing or anything. We just had a talk. We asked him, we’re trying to get in the loop of what’s going on, when he’s around, we ask him what’s going on, we have his back and let him know we’re supporting him, whatever his decisions may be, we just wanted to know where he was at, at that time in the season and that was it. It was a simple conversation.”
Lastly, Green has a June 29 decision to decide whether to exercise his $10 million player option and remain with the Spurs next season, or decline the option and become an unrestricted free agent July 1. Green said he’ll speak with the Spurs’ front office and some of his teammates before making the decision.
“I think it’s smart to talk to everybody. All decisions, most importantly is Pop (Gregg Popovich) and R.C. (R.C. Buford). When Pop is ready, obviously he’s going through – it was a weird year for everybody. There’s a lot going on, when he’s ready to sit down and talk to everybody, reevaluate what’s going on. I talked to LaMarcus (Aldridge), he asked me some questions of what’s going on. I talked to Rudy (Gay). I definitely will talk to Kawhi, see what’s going on. It’s smart to get everybody’s opinion, what they want to do, what we’re trying to do, and I think that if we can get everybody back, we can make another good push at it. So, it’ll be interesting.”