Kawhi Leonard Telling Rival Teams He Plans to Sign With LA Team

Kawhi Leonard To Tell Rival Teams He Plans To Sign In Los Angeles

Gregg Popovich meets with Kawhi Leonard in California

San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich traveled Tuesday to Southern California and met with Kawhi Leonard prior to Thursday's National Basketball Association draft, league sources told ESPN.

Making it clear that he'll leave San Antonio next summer could force the Spurs to trade Leonard out of fear that they will soon lose him for nothing.

According to Chris Mannix of Yahoo Sports the hierarch San Antonio will at no stage start actively shopping the 2014 Finals MVP, but they will be prepared to listen to offers that teams bring to them.

According to ESPN's report, Popovich has been seeking a meeting with Leonard for weeks, but Leonard has made it hard to set up a meeting.

Leonard, a two-time first-team All-NBA player, can become an unrestricted free agent in 2019.

If the Spurs are to move forward with trading Leonard, the Lakers reportedly would face an uphill battle in prying him away.

Leonard reportedly wants to end up with his hometown Lakers, but all signs seem to point to the Spurs being reluctant to make a deal with their Western Conference rivals.

The Spurs, however, are not the Pacers, and Kawhi Leonard isn't Paul George. The team, however, hasn't given guidance on what they would want in any potential trade. It was a disappointing follow-up to his career season in 2016-17, in which he averaged 25.5 points to establish himself as arguably the best two-way player in the National Basketball Association.

Per a report from Jabari Young of the San Antonio Express-News, it was a "good" meeting. Popovich even suggested that Leonard might be better than LeBron James a year ago.

Whatever happens on draft night, we will know one thing for sure. According to some reports he wants to play in Los Angeles, preferably for the Lakers, and feels a sense of betrayal by the Spurs over the handling of his quadriceps injury.

National Basketball Association free agency begins July 1.

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