Where is Kawhi Leonard?
Except for sporadic reports that the two-time NBA Defensive player of the Year would not be available for the current San Antonio Spurs’ first round date with defending champion Golden State Warriors in the post season playoffs, there really has no definite answer to this question that has been hounding the play-for-pay’s community for sometime now.
Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports reported Sunday that Leonard will miss the entire playoffs as he is in the process of rehabbing his right quad, the same injury that has forced him to miss all but nine games this season.
Chris Haynes of ESPN, on the other hand, reported the Spurs’ forward was still waiting for medical clearance from his team.
“He is improving, but still hasn’t received clearance from his doctors and has no timetable on a return. But he will continue rehabbing in New York. There is no timetable on his return, but he is being examined routinely,” ESPN reports said.
San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich himself sounded frustrated and confused at the absence of Leonard.
Asked on a chance that Leonard rejoining the team during the series, Pop answered: “You’ll have to ask Kawhi and his group that question,” which could likely mean the independent doctors that have been treating him in New York.
Which could, likewise, be interpreted that that the Leonard injury saga is causing tension within the organization. Whatever, all this confusion provides no inclination that fans should expect him back anytime soon.
Amidst the confusion and mystery came the news that Leonard could be available for a trade and, if so, the Los Angeles Clippers would be among the interested teams.
Sam Amick of USA TODAY, in his column Saturday, the same day the Spurs lost to the Warriors, 92-113, wrote that Leonard’s absence from the team’s playoff game as a sign he might get traded this summer.
And if he does get traded, Amick reported, the Clippers would have interest in offering a trade package.
Of course, Clippers fans should temper their expectations. First off, there is no certainty that Leonard will be traded. And if he is made available, you can expect several teams to be interested.
However, the Clippers could have a better shot than others because they would be somewhat of a hometown team for the Southern California native.