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The Los Angeles Lakers have made contact with the San Antonio Spurs to express interest in disgruntled franchise star Kawhi Leonard, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
No proposals were made by either side, league sources said, but the Lakers reached out to express an initial interest in Leonard. The Spurs are open to listening to offers on Leonard, but have yet to heavily engage with interested teams, league sources said. Yahoo Sports reported Friday that Leonard wanted out of the Spurs’ organization and that Leonard met with Gregg Popovich on Tuesday in San Diego.
Leonard’s desire for a move out of San Antonio has stemmed from an overall mistrust of the organization over the course of the season and significant communication breakdowns.
Leonard, a two-time All-Star and two-time Defensive Player of the Year who was the 2013-14 NBA Finals MVP, played just nine games with the Spurs this past season after acrimony with the franchise about the condition of his lingering quadriceps injury.
Leonard spent most of the second half of the season rehabbing his injury in New York, where his medical team was based and where he trained with Spurs staffers. He has returned close to full health from the lingering quad injury.
Leonard, 26, is under contract for two more seasons and owed $41.4 million, but has a player option for 2019-20.
He was drafted 15th overall in 2011 and when healthy is regarded as the league’s best two-way player.
Leonard had his finest season in 2016-17, when he averaged 25.5 points, 5.8 rebounds and 3.5 assists and shot 38 percent from 3-point range.
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