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Old 07-09-18, 12:21 PM
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How exactly will the Leonard situation end? And other lingering NBA offseason ???s

alh1020: Found an interesting article from the Washington Post, just another spin on what's been said before. I modified the article, a tad, by removing 3 paragraphs and just highlighting on the Spurs mentioned. If you want to read the entire article, I've provided the link below. Enjoy.

How exactly will the Kawhi Leonard situation end? And other lingering NBA offseason questions.

With the NBA Summer League underway in Sin City, it’s a good time to assess where the NBA stands one week into free agency.

Most of the big business is done. LeBron James changed teams; Paul George, Chris Paul and Kevin Durant remained with their current ones; and DeMarcus Cousins signed with the Golden State Warriors.

But just because the major moves are made doesn’t mean all of the business is complete.

There are still a handful of significant names on the market and other issues outstanding before players can spend what’s left of the summer on vacation — before gearing up for the start of next season.

Here’s a look at them:

1. What will be the resolution to the Kawhi Leonard situation?

Leonard is still a Spur, despite it appearing at many points over the past few weeks that he could be dealt elsewhere. So what does that mean for his future — and does it mean he will be with the Spurs when training camp starts 11 weeks from today?

That very much remains to be seen.

San Antonio has never been an organization that lets the world know what it is thinking, and that remains the case with regard to Leonard. Even studying the team’s moves from this summer could be seen in multiple ways. On one hand, bringing back Rudy Gay on a one-year deal and signing Marco Belinelli to a two-year pact seem designed for San Antonio to be as competitive as possible next season. On the other, not matching Kyle Anderson’s offer sheet — essentially leaving Leonard as the only small forward on the roster — seems the opposite.

Not matching Anderson also could mean the Spurs are trying to leave open as much space as possible to attack free agency next summer — with or without Leonard. With as many as 10 all-stars on the market next summer, the Spurs will be an attractive destination to land one of them if Leonard remains in San Antonio.

But that all comes back to whether the Spurs decide to keep him. For every person who posed that question here at the Summer League, a different answer was given. To some, things have grown too toxic and Leonard has to get shipped out of town. To others, Leonard remains one of the league’s most talented players and every possible avenue to mend fences needs to be pursued before deciding it’s time to end the relationship.

The Philadelphia 76ers have consistently remained atop the list of teams expected to land Leonard. There is an obvious connection between the franchises with Coach Brett Brown, Gregg Popovich’s longtime assistant, now running the Sixers, plus the fact Philadelphia is in the Eastern Conference and the Sixers have the talent to make a deal. The one thing that was consistent was that such a deal will likely hinge on whether Philadelphia makes Markelle Fultz available. If the Sixers do, it’ll be hard for another team to top their offer.

The Toronto Raptors also generated buzz as a potential destination for Leonard. With LeBron James out of the Eastern Conference, perhaps Raptors President of Basketball Operations Masai Ujiri is willing to swing for the fences and move DeMar DeRozan or Kyle Lowry in such a deal.

Further complicating the situation is Leonard’s health, which, until he’s on a court in a live-game situation, will probably remain a mystery.

alh1020: Paragraphs #2, 3 and 4 have been removed. See link to article for missing paragraphs.

5. Will future Hall of Famers Manu Ginobili and Dwyane Wade return for another season?

Both Ginobili and Wade have an open-door policy with the Spurs and Heat, respectively, to play for them next season. Both the Spurs and Heat, however, have no idea whether either of them will return.

Ginobili is under contract for next season, so his choice purely comes down to whether he wants to continue playing. It’s hard to know how much the Leonard situation, plus Parker’s departure, factors into what he’ll do. The world will likely find out, one way or the other, in a tweet from Ginobili announcing his decision later this summer.

Wade, on the other hand, is a free agent. So while it seems unlikely he’ll choose to play anywhere else, he’ll at least have to factor in whether he wants to play for the minimum (which it seems likely he’d have to do).

The hope here, from a pure entertainment standpoint, is that both do. The NBA is better off with Ginobili and Wade a part of it, and both showed last season they can be useful bench pieces, even at these later stages of their careers. Now we will wait and see whether they’ll decide to sign up for another year of NBA life or whether they’re ready to turn the page.

Link to article:
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