Leonard and Spurs failed to agree new deal before October 31 deadline…
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San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard insists that he is sure that he will be “in a Spurs jersey for my whole life” despite failing to agree on an extension.
The 23-year-old was crowned the Finals MVP last season as the Spurs picked up a fifth championship in 12 years, and after a disrupted start to the season due to an eye infection, Leonard has now totalled 47 points in back-to-back wins as the defending champions get back on track.
However, Leonard will be a restricted free agent after this season with the Spurs choosing not to sign him to a max extension prior to the October 31 deadline.
San Antonio instead opted to save around $8m in salary cap room and they will be expected to resume talks over a new deal in July with the additional bonus of having room to negotiate should either Tim Duncan or Manu Ginobili, or both, decide to retire.
“I don’t think I’m going anywhere,” Leonard told USA Today Sports on Tuesday. “I mean they love me here. I like the organization, and if it was up to me, I want to finish out with one team like a lot of great players have done, to stay with one organization their whole career and just be loyal to that.
“You never know. We’ll see what happens next summer, but I’m pretty sure I’ll be in a Spurs jersey for my whole life.”
Leonard went on to add that he was never upset about the failure to agree on an extension last month, as the franchise clearly explained their position on it and he is merely focused on playing his role in the team and helping them win another championship.
Meanwhile, coach Gregg Popovich insisted that the entire team knows that they need to get the ball more to Leonard this season as he is “the future”. He also joked that Duncan and Ginobili won’t play “more than maybe six or seven more years” so they must give the responsibility to someone else.