Kawhi Leonard looked Gregg Popovich dead in face, said he wanted trade
ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith fanned the flames a little more this morning after a reported meeting between San Antonio Spurs star Kawhi Leonard reportedly met with head coach Gregg Popovich to address his impending future.
The longtime morning show personality said what’s perhaps the most clear cut revelation, which is Leonard telling Pop straight to his face that he no longer wishes to be with the Spurs.
“From what my sources tell me, Kawhi Leonard met with Gregg Popovich face-to-face, looked him dead in his face and told him: ‘I don’t want to be here. I don’t want to be in San Antonio any longer,'” said Smith during Wednesday’s First Take. “He is absolutely, positively going to become a member of the Los Angeles Lakers.”
Smith interjected himself to make a correction mid-speech.
“You know what? Let me take that back, I should tell you L.A. He wants to be in L.A.,” Smith continued. “The likelihood is that it is the Lakers, but Kawhi wants to be in L.A. and he is going to be in L.A. either this season, or after next season, come next summer. He is going to be in L.A., there is no way around that.”
Leonard is known to be a man of few words, but it doesn’t take many to convey this rather simple feeling.
The L.A. native was rumored to make himself available as a free agent in 2019, which will allow him to sign with the Lakers if they keep enough cap room to sign him after this offseason.
Los Angeles has room for two max-level free agent this offseason, but would have to put their plans (or part of them) on hold if they hope to snag the 26-year-old as a free agent next year.