Gregg Popovich and Kawhi Leonard meet for first time since trade demand

Gregg Popovich and Kawhi Leonard meet for first time since trade demand

San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich made the trip to San Diego on Tuesday to meet with star forward Kawhi Leonard ahead of Thursday's National Basketball Association draft, according to multiple reports.

Popovich and Leonard met in March before Leonard headed home to California for the offseason.

The Spurs do not have to facilitate a trade to the Lakers simply because that's Leonard's preference.

According to Wojnarowski and Shelburne, Leonard has not wanted to mend fences with Popovich and the Spurs at all. In particular, ESPN reported that Leonard is "irate" over public comments from Popovich and teammate Tony Parker as his absence wore on.

ESPN reported that Leonard remains upset with the Spurs' handling of his quad injury, which led to him getting a second opinion and taking the matter into his own hands, outside of the Spurs' counsel. Despite the meeting, Leonard has privately said he no longer wants to play with San Antonio, but it's unlikely the team would be motivated to work out a deal with the Lakers, the sources said.

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Leonard would prefer to sign with the Los Angeles Lakers over the Los Angeles Clippers.

Leonard, a two-time All-Star and two-time Defensive Player of the Year, averaged 16.2 points in those nine appearances as the Spurs failed to win 50 or more games for the first time since the abbreviated 1998-99 season.

According to ESPN, the Spurs have been largely reluctant to give teams guidance on the players, or packages, that would interest them in trades.

Despite Leonard's contentious relationship with the team, he is eligible to sign a five-year, $219 million super-maximum contract with the Spurs this summer.