OAKLAND, California – A summer meeting with star striker Kawhi Leonard is high on the San Antonio Spurs' priority list, sources report as the team makes a crucial offseason in the wake of Tuesday's 99-91 season-ending Loss for the Golden State Warriors in Game 5 of the Western Conference Playoffs.
"Kawhi, everyone asks questions, but he is still here," said Watchman Danny Green. He is part of the team until things change.
With coach Gregg Popovich to take the lead, the Spurs are planning to meet with Leonard over the summer to see if the sides can solve their problems. He said the Golden State was from the beginning (19659005) Kawhi Leonard's uncertain future will be in the front line, but San Antonio will enter the summer with the potential that half of his roster will become free agents.
Leonard has been suspended for up to nine games this season because of a quadriceps issue that has led to an icy relationship with the team front office over his diagnosis and rehabilitation process, and continues in New York Reha.
While the decision on whether Leonard should be offered a $ 219 million Super Max expansion, is the management – and even the current players, such a source – finally makes the final call. Peter Holt, the team's former chairman and CEO, and his wife Julianna Hawn Holt may turn out to be a difficult sale for General Manager R.C. Buford. The couple is currently involved in divorce matters.
Popovich, Buford and Leonard's Spurs teammates have long claimed that the squad wants the star back to the flock, but they've all said that long-term health is what matters most. 19659002] Last summer, Popovich demonstrated his ability to improve tense relationships when he teamed with striker LaMarcus Aldridge, who was dissatisfied with his role and was not sure how he would fit into the team's plans for the 2017 / 18 would fit. The two came out of this sitdown with Aldridge feeling more comfortable, which in turn contributed to the power-forward performance at an all-star level in the absence of the injured Leonard.
The Leonard situation is just one of many San Antonio plans to navigate in the coming weeks
"You never know what happens, right in the summer, what can move," veteran Pau Gasol said. "There are six or seven people in our team who have free agents or [have] player options, and then we have the situation we all know [Leonard] that we do not know how to do it. To be honest from this point of view, we will see, there is currently no time to think about it or make decisions, it is just a time to digest what has happened this year, and we will have plenty of time for the next season to discuss and what can happen. "
Popovich missed his third consecutive game on Monday and mourned the death of his wife Erin, who died last week after prolonged illness. The recent turn of events raises questions about whether Popovich wants to continue training the Spurs. At the age of 22, Popovich, 69, is currently the longest-serving coach in one of the biggest professional leagues. He will also serve as coach of the US Olympic team before the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
Then there are pending decisions concerning the most successful duo in the NBA playoff history (132 wins): veterans Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker. 19659002] Ginobili, a 16-year-old veteran, remains contracted for $ 2.5 million next season, but for the last three summers, he has preferred to wait before deciding in July to return to the Spurs should. Ginobili said he has not made a decision about his future and will use the summer to reflect on his next move.
"As I have done in the last two or three seasons, I will sit back, relax and after two or three months, see if I feel retired or not," Ginobili said. "I like to sow a bit to see how I feel, probably do not expect any news until July, I just do not know, I let a month, two months pass and I see how I feel I'm not the kind of guy who makes decisions spontaneously and when you're upset, hurt or whatever. "
Parker has meanwhile made his intentions clear and said he would like to play 20 NBA seasons. But in Year 17, Parker's potential return for 2018-19 has not been determined when he becomes a freelance agent on July 1 when his contract expires.
Buford told ESPN.com that the Spurs made a decision on Parker at the. Meetings will take time and it is likely that he will have to accept a contract that is worth considerably less than the $ 15.4 million he has earned this season.
San Antonio's longest-serving player, Parker, 35, suffered a torn quadriceps tendon last season in the playoffs. Since January, he has taken on a smaller role as he takes on 21-year-old Dejounte Murray at the head of the team.
"We'll see," Parker said. "I said I want to keep playing, I'm glad I do not have these retirement parties, I want to keep playing, and we'll see if it's in San Antonio, everyone knows I'd like to stay here, but the free agency is always crazy, so we'll see. "
The Spurs will also be in disarray in the summer over the return of acting shooting guard Danny Green and striker Rudy Gay, as both have player options on their current contracts. Gays ($ 8.8 million) and Greens ($ 10 million) have until 29 June to decide on their contracts, but none of them has yet to make a decision.
Many decisions are made this summer. It's so sudden, "said Green. We only had one game. Everyone is still pretty much trapped in it, the moment of the season is over. We are not really planning the summer yet. I'm sure we'll get a few days, a few weeks or even a month or so and some people will not make a decision yet. I'm sure they'll get advice from their agents, talk to the coaching staff, talk to the organization and find out where they're going from there. This organization is a big part of me and I would like to play here again, would love to come back. But things will be interesting in the free agency. "
Reserve Joffrey Lauvergne also faces a deadline of 29 June to make a decision on his 1.7 million player option.
Top assistant Ettore Messina has played three games of the series against The Warriors for Popovich, but he will soon be interviewing for the head coach job of Charlotte Hornets .
After the game on Tuesday, Messina apologized and said that he did not feel comfortable talking about his future with the Spurs, but he gets the chance "First of all, I'll ask, I'll talk to Coach Pop and RC [Buford] and look at that.
Restricted Free Agents Kyle Anderson, Davis Bertans, and Bryn Forbes, meanwhile, are likely to be offered one-year qualification offers by June 29 to make them all free agents.  "I love them to death, like my brothers "Murray said," Whether you're here or not, I have no control over it. I wish you the best. "