ESPN: Kawhi Leonard is considering play at Team USA mini-camp
Team USA will be having their summer mini-camp in Las Vegas and all eyes will be on San Antonio Spurs' Kawhi Leonard.
Leonard has been listed on Team USA's preliminary roster and leading the way will be Gregg Popovich who'll be serving as the head coach.
According to a report from ESPN, Kawhi is considering participating with Team USA which could be a platform to show he is fully recovered from his injured quadriceps muscle which kept him out of most of the 2017-18 season and possibly a chance for Popovich to try to mend fences with Leonard.
San Antonio Spurs star Kawhi Leonard is seriously considering participation in the USA Basketball national team's mini-camp in Las Vegas next week, an event for the embattled All-NBA forward to showcase the status of his recovery to prospective trade partners, league sources told ESPN.
Among NBA teams and USA Basketball officials, there is a belief that Leonard wants to participate in the camp - but could be dissuaded based on ancillary concerns.
Leonard holds some enthusiasm for showcasing his revitalized health in the wake of the quad injury that has been at the center of discord between the Spurs and him, sources said. The question being debated, sources said, is whether participating in the Team USA camp will ignite trade talks that deliver him to his preferred destination -- the Los Angeles Lakers -- or give the Spurs more cause to hold onto Leonard and push him to report to training camp in September.
Kawhi is now officially eligible for the "super max" extension but as of yet, nothing has materialized.
Should Leonard play at the mini-camp, he could show he is back to top-form which made him an NBA MVP candidate and the 2-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year.
Should Leonard play, this could either help potential trade partners see he is at 100-percent health thus helping San Antonio facilitate a trade. However, if he is not at peak form, this could hinder any trade demands the Spurs may have or scare off other teams from dealing with the Spurs for a player who isn't what he once was.
Still, the bidding war among Boston, Philadelphia and the Lakers never materialized. The Los Angeles Clippers, Denver, Phoenix, Portland, Toronto and Washington are among teams who've talked with San Antonio, league sources said.
Note Leonard is still under contract with the Spurs heading into next season and he has a history of backing out of Team USA play as he did in 2014 citing rest.