Gregg Popovich Says Kawhi Leonard Is Best Player in NBA After Game 6 Win

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistApril 28, 2017

San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard (2) talks with head coach Gregg Popovich during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Saturday, March 12, 2016, in San Antonio. San Antonio won 93-85. (AP Photo/Darren Abate)
Darren Abate/Associated Press

San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich thinks highly of his star player.

"Kawhi Leonard, in my opinion, is the best player in the league right now," Popovich told reporters after his team's Game 6 win over the Memphis Grizzlies, per Michael Lee of The Vertical.

Leonard finished with a game-high 29 points Thursday plus nine rebounds, four assists and three steals.

After averaging 25.5 points per game during the regular season, the 25-year-old has stepped up his effort in the postseason with 31.2 PPG in the 4-2 series win over the Grizzlies.

His 1-of-5 shooting from three-point range in Game 6 also only dropped his percentage to a still impressive 48.3 percent from beyond the arc.

While Russell Westbrook and James Harden are considered the two favorites for the league's Most Valuable Player award, Leonard remains a top contender as well thanks to his play on both ends of the court. Per Basketball Reference, he trailed only Kevin Durant with .264 win shares per 48 minutes.

As he continues to lead the Spurs deeper in the postseason, it might get tougher to argue Popovich's point.

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