Kawhi Leonard is supposed to be the San Antonio Spurs’ franchise player after the retirement of Tim Duncan. Last season, Leonard stepped up to that role while averaging 25.5 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 3.5 assists, making it as a finalist for the MVP trophy behind eventual winner Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder and James Harden of the Houston Rockets. Leonard was expected to step up further this season, but a quad injury derailed his mission. Leonard played just nine games this season, averaging just 16.2 points and 4.7 rebounds before the Spurs decided to sideline him indefinitely as he fully recovers from the quad issue that has affected his confidence.

Currently, Leonard is in New York to continue his rehabilitation while his teammates are left to keep their playoff push alive.

Leonard’s future with the Spurs uncertain

Recently, Leonard’s teammates arranged a meeting to persuade him to return and help the team reach the playoff, but he begged off, saying he is still uncomfortable playing due to his quad issue. There were reports that Leonard’s quad issue has created a crack in his relationship with the Spurs. According to reports, Leonard and the Spurs’ front office have grown apart this season, fueling rumors that he might be traded in the offseason. Brian Windhorst of ESPN reported that several teams are already circling the Spurs with an eye on Leonard via trade before the NBA Draft in June.

In his podcast, former NBA point guard Nate Robinson said Leonard wants out of San Antonio and is eyeing to play close to his hometown of California. Robinson’s declaration could entice either the Los Angeles Lakers or the Los Angeles Clippers to work on a trade with the Spurs for Leonard.

Cavaliers interested in Leonard

However, Sam Amico of Amico Hoops reported that the Cleveland Cavaliers are closely watching the development regarding Leonard’s saga in San Antonio.

League sources told Amico that the Cavaliers could pursue Leonard if his relationship with the Spurs is beyond repair. The Cavaliers have the Brooklyn Nets’ unprotected first-round pick that they acquired from the Boston Celtics in the Kyrie Irving trade and they could offer it to the Spurs for Leonard. However, Amico clarified that everything is speculation at this point, but any talks between the Spurs and Cavaliers would center on the Nets’ first-round pick. The Cavaliers could also pursue Leonard as insurance in case LeBron James leaves the team after this season as an unrestricted free agent.