Report: Kawhi Leonard Meeting 'High on the Priority List' for Spurs in Offseason

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistApril 25, 2018

San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard (2) moves the ball up court during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Denver Nuggets, Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018, in San Antonio. San Antonio won 112-80. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Eric Gay/Associated Press

The San Antonio Spurs are reportedly planning to hold an offseason meeting with Kawhi Leonard to determine his long-term future with the organization.

According to ESPN.com's Michael C. Wright, an "all-hands-on-deck" meeting with Leonard is "high on the priority list."

Wright added that head coach Gregg Popovich is expected to spearhead the meeting to see if the two sides can continue working together.

Leonard missed all but nine games this season due to a nagging quad injury.

San Antonio was eliminated from its first-round playoff series with the Golden State Warriors in Game 5 on Tuesday, and Leonard didn't play.

He returned after missing nearly two months to start the season, but he was never able to get comfortable and didn't play again in 2017-18 after a Jan. 13 game against the Denver Nuggets.

The 2014 Finals MVP's potential return was an ongoing storyline.

His teammates were asked about it regularly, and in March, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowskiand Wright reported the Spurs held a players-only meeting in which he was implored to play.

Veteran forward Rudy Gay shot down the notion that the meeting was "tense" and "emotional," saying: "I've been on a lot of teams, and obviously things get discussed. I wouldn't say it was a legit team meeting; it was just one of those things where we all got together and we talked about things that were going on," per RJ Marquez of KSAT.

On April 1, Wojnarowski and Wright reported Leonard returned to New York for a second time to rehab. Updates were sparse after that.

The 26-year-old Leonard will enter the final guaranteed year of his contract in 2018-19, and he could become a free agent prior to the 2019-2020 campaign due to a player option. That makes getting a long-term commitment key since the Spurs may have to explore the trade market if Leonard doesn't want to remain with the team.

Leonard is arguably the NBA's best two-way player when healthy, and he finished third in MVP voting in 2016-17 after averaging 25.5 points, 5.8 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game. If the Spurs are going to continue to be a power in the Western Conference, getting Leonard healthy and locking him down is crucial.

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