The NBA world was rocked over the weekend by the news that San Antonio Spurs star Kawhi Leonard reportedly wants out of town. By all accounts, Leonard and the Spurs endured a fractured relationship during an injury-marred season for the All-Star forward.
Now, he apparently wishes to be traded, and the speculation regarding where he might end up is at a fever pitch. Former Cavs general manager David Griffin recently spoke on SiriusXM radio about the possibility of a Leonard trade.
Griffin thinks the Spurs won't trade their star until they sit down with him in person and find out that's definitely what he wants. In other words, they aren't going just off media reports.
Here are the quotes from Griffin, via HoopsHype's Alex Kennedy:
“San Antonio is not into media frenzy. Until they have a conversation with Kawhi Leonard and he looks Coach Popovich and RC Buford in the eye and says, ‘Guys, I want out,’ none of this means anything. It really doesn’t. It’s a lot of fun to talk about. It’s a fascinating story. It’s wonderful, in some ways, that they’re now part of that media frenzy. But what makes them special is that they’ve ignored the noise for 21 years! They didn’t forget how to do that just because there’s some scuttlebutt out there.
“Be very careful with the notion that they ‘must do something.’ Those dudes have been phenomenal at not forcing anything until it was absolutely the right time in their own minds. If something happens relative to the draft, it’s going to be because they heard something directly from [Leonard] and not because of the things we’ve heard [in various reports].”
You can listen to the audio clip of Griffin below.
Of course, this is a prudent move on San Antonio's part. You don't give up on a two-way talent like Leonard, who is only 26, until you are absolutely certain you can't repair the relationship.
The franchise likely knows some of what Leonard is feeling, but an in-person conversation is a necessity.