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Gregg Popovich on Kawhi Leonard: ‘When he and his group feel he’s ready, he’ll be ready’

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Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said Kawhi Leonard is continuing his injury rehabilitation in New York with his own team of doctors, but Popovich is unsure when the star forward and “his group” will clear him to play.

“I don’t know when he’s going to feel, he and his group are going to feel like they’re ready to go,” Popovich said Sunday before a game against Houston. “If I knew, he’d be here. When he and his group feel he’s ready, he’ll be ready.”

Leonard has missed all but nine games this season while nursing right quadriceps tendinopathy, an injury that flared up late in the offseason. He returned to the team’s lineup briefly but has not played since complaining of soreness in his injured thigh after the Spurs’ home win over Denver on Jan. 13.

The Spurs are competing for home-court advantage in the opening round of the playoffs despite a rash of injuries, to Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, Rudy Gay, Danny Green and Kyle Anderson as well as Leonard.

Source: Associated Press via ESPN

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Sources: Timberwolves, Ryan Saunders Agree to Deal

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Ryan Saunders and Minnesota are nearing agreement on a multi-year deal to make him the Timberwolves coach, league sources tell ESPN.

Source: Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN

Ryan Saunders has reached agreement on a multiyear deal to become the new head coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves, league sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium.

Source: Shams Charania on Twitter

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Sources: Frank Ntilikina ‘desires a relocation’ from Knicks

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With the possibility of a trade looming, Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina dropped CAA as his agency last season and planned to sign with French agent Bouna Ndiaye, the Daily News has learned.

Ntilikina, who was drafted eighth overall by Knicks in 2017, is on the trading block and desires a relocation, a source told the News. The Knicks declined offers to move Ntilikina at the trade deadline in February, acquired another point guard in Dennis Smith Jr., and Ntilikina quickly decided to change agents.

Ndiaye, who is from France, exclusively reps French players in the NBA — Rudy Gobert (Jazz), Nicolas Batum (Hornets), Evan Fournier (Magic) and Ian Mahinmi (Wizards). CAA, meanwhile, is one of the biggest NBA agencies.

Source: Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News

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Sources: James Ennis to Decline Player Option

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Philadelphia 76ers swingman James Ennis (@JamesDa_Truth) will decline his $1.8M player option for next season and become a free agent, league sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium.

Source: Shams Charania on Twitter

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