The San Antonio Spurs have not advanced past the first round in the playoffs yet, but what they saw from small forward Kawhi Leonard in Game 2 was enough to line up him for a max contract.
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(Video) NBA Playoffs round-up: San Antonio Spurs crush Los Angeles Clippers
(Video) NBA Playoffs Highlights: San Antonio Spurs humiliate Los Angeles Clippers in Game 3 as Kawhi Leonard scores 32 points
Leonard previously won the 2014 NBA Finals MVP in the Spurs’ championship run, and he scored a career-high 32 points in the Spurs’ blowout win against the Los Angeles Clippers.
He also recently took home Defensive Player of the Year honors, and he has shown that he is ready to take the reins for the Spurs after future Hall of Fame power forward Tim Duncan retires.
Duncan’s retirement is imminent since he is now 39 years old, and shooting guard Manu Ginobili and point guard Tony Parker aren’t getting any younger either.
In addition to locking up Leonard, the Spurs are planning to pursue power forward LaMarcus Aldridge when he becomes a free agent.
Aldridge’s Portland Trail Blazers currently trail, 2-0, in the first round, so he may feel compelled to leave for greener pastures if the Spurs make another deep playoff run.
Aldridge did say that he wants to re-sign with the Blazers on a five-year contract, but it will undoubtedly be difficult to turn down an offer to sign with a championship team and become Duncan’s replacement, assuming he retires within the next couple of years.