Okay, maybe “Future Sixer” is looking more and more like a pipe dream. But a guy CAN dream, right?
The Philadelphia 76ers are rumored to sign every free agent or trade for every superstar under the NBA sun this off-season. LeBron James is on the table. Paul George is on the table. I wonder if our editor Kevin F. Love is on the table — because Colangelo sees the name and says, “Oh, Kevin Love is available. Let’s get him.”
One name who is (or maybe was at this point) on that list is Kawhi Leonard of the San Antonio Spurs.
Keith Pompey at the Philadelphia Daily News reported just ten days ago that the Sixers were interested in trading for the 2014 NBA Finals MVP (along with James and Paul George). Last week, Tyler Monahan wrote a piece outlining a “Kawhi to the Sixers” deal.
It would appear that we may have to collectively pump the brakes a little bit. According to Tom Osbourne of the San Antonio Express-News, the Spurs will reportedly offer Leonard the supermax contract of five-years and $219 million.
The relationship between Leonard and the Spurs was rocky this season due to conflicting strategies in how to deal with Leonard’s quadriceps injury. That kind of money can repair almost any relationship. The Spurs have had previous success turning down the heat on a situation that was destined to blow up. Last year, the team had a similar problem with LaMarcus Aldridge. Head coach Gregg Popovich and company were able to fix that situation.
Now, this is not to suggest that Kawhi still can’t be a Sixer next season. It’s no sure thing that the two parties are able to reconcile. However, if Leonard is offered the supermax from San Antonio, I have a hard time believing he’ll turn it down. When a guy like Popovich refers to you as the “future face of the franchise”, that holds weight.