According to one former NBA player and current NBA analyst, Kawhi Leonard’s days with the San Antonio Spurs could be numbered. Speaking on ESPN’s First Take, Jalen Rose noted that according to what he’s hearing, the two-time All-Star is growing unhappy and “wants out.”
“I hate to say this; Kawhi Leonard wants out of San Antonio, is what I’m hearing,” Rose said. “And the reason why is ten-fold. One is they’ve been unable to attract elite level, All-NBA caliber free agents to come play with him. We always talk about players going to join large market teams. Who’s going to L.A.? Who’s going to New York? What’s going on in Philly? We never say, who’s going to San Antonio to play with Kawhi?”
Rose went on to add that the next superteam will be the one that ultimately lands Leonard.
That would be different than what we’ve grown used to with superteams. Over the last decade, we’ve definitely seen an influx of superstars teaming up. But the majority of those have fallen into one of two groups. One would be what Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, and Paul Pierce did with the Boston Celtics. At the time, none of them had a championship, which changed in their first season together.
More recently, we’ve seen LeBron James and Chris Bosh join Dwyane Wade with the Miami Heat, and Kevin Durant join the Golden State Warriors. At the time they joined those teams, LeBron and Durant had not won a championship. Each was joining a team that had won in the fairly recent past, whose best player(s) had already won.
Leonard has already won a championship. So, while Rose did note that he’d be leaving for a smoother road to a title, we couldn’t really call this a ring grab in the same way that we did with the others.
Regardless of the reasons, this will definitely be something to watch. If Leonard does leave the Spurs, the balance of power in the NBA would be shifted in a hurry.