Kawhi Leonard trade: Gregg Popovich has secret plan to stop Lakers move this month | Other | Sport
That’s the suggestion from ESPN reporter Brian Windhorst, who points to the Team USA training camp later this month as a chance for Popovich and Leonard to have another meeting.
Popovich held crunch talks with Leonard last month after reports emerged that the 2014 NBA Finals MVP had expressed a desire to head to Los Angeles, with a preference to join the Lakers.
However, it didn’t seem to change the situation much with San Antonio now inviting trade packages from other teams for Leonard.
They have so far discussed deals with the Philadelphia 76ers, Boston Celtics and Lakers but the teams have been put off by the high asking price by San Antonio.
The Spurs can still offer Leonard a supermax contract extensions worth in excess of $200million, but they also risk losing their franchise player for nothing in free agency next year.
But Popovich may get another chance to have some more one-on-one time with Leonard at a two-day training camp in Las Vegas with Team USA.
“The next important thing is two weeks from tomorrow and that is the Team USA training camp,” Windhorst said on ESPN.
“There’s a get together in Las Vegas at the end of this month. The brand new head coach of Team USA – Gregg Popovic. On the roster and expected to be there for training camp or at least to meet with his team-mates – Kawhi Leonard.
“In the past we have seen players who are in stalemates with their teams be excused…
“That said, this is an opportunity if they can somehow get in the same room together of Gregg Popovich and Kawhi Leonard working together possibly finding someway to move forward.
“The Spurs are going to want to exhaust all options before they trade KAwhi Leonard.
“They have not exhausted all options yet and even if this ultimately mean a connection and Kawhi begs off and doesn’t come to Las Vegas, it’s something the Spurs are looking to see if they can try and create something to build on.”