The San Antonio Spurs will hold All-Star forward Kawhi Leonard out indefinitely due to lingering pain from a quadriceps injury that caused him to miss the first 27 games of the season.
“He didn’t re-injure it or anything. But you know he was having pain, not right after games but maybe the next day,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said Wednesday. “… The pain wasn’t dissipating; it wasn’t going in the right direction, it was going the other way.”
Popovich quickly dismissed the idea that Leonard could be out for the remainder of the season due to the tendinopathy in his right quadriceps. Popovich described the Spurs’ decision to sit Leonard as “conservative.”
“You’ve got to be confident in your body to go out there and play at the level that he’s expected to play,” the coach said. “… We didn’t feel he was ready; his confidence level wasn’t there, so we just decided to give it some more time.”
The Spurs initially announced during training camp that Leonard would miss the preseason because of the quadriceps issue, but the recovery process lingered into December, with Popovich admitting in November that the forward was “coming along more slowly” in rehabilitation than the club had hoped.
The two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year has appeared in just nine games this season, as the Spurs have restricted his playing time to ensure a full recovery from the condition that causes pain and weakness in the knee.
Sources: Kings Interested in Harrison Barnes
The Sacramento Kings have interest in trading for Harrison Barnes.
Barnes future with the Dallas Mavericks is uncertain. Barnes has a player option for the 19-20 season worth $25.1 million.
“I know the Kings would love to have Harrison Barnes,” said Brian Windhorst on the Hoop Collective podcast. “Whether or not that can work out? I don’t know.”
The Kings are making a push for the playoffs and do not own their first round pick, while the Mavericks have been a free fall and a have a top-5 protected pick.
Report: NBA to Televise All-Star Draft on February 7
The NBA announced today that the 2019 NBA All-Star Draft will be televised by TNT on Thursday, Feb. 7 at 7 p.m. ET. The team rosters for the 68th NBA All-Star Game will be revealed during a special NBA All-Star Draft Show, which will be followed by an extended version of the TNT NBA Tip-Off presented by Autotrader pregame show.
The two NBA All-Star Game team captains will draft the rosters from the pool of players voted as starters and reserves in each conference, making their selections regardless of conference affiliation. The captains will be the All-Star starter from each conference who receives the most fan votes in his conference. More details about the 2019 NBA All-Star Draft will be announced at a later date.
The NBA also announced today the third fan returns of NBA All-Star Voting 2019 presented by Google. The Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James continues to lead the Western Conference and the Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo remains on top in the Eastern Conference.
Gregg Popovich: ‘I don’t know’ on Coaching Next Season
Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs will soon become the fourth 70-year-old coach in N.B.A. history, but he remains undecided about coaching the Spurs beyond this season.
Popovich, who turns 70 on Jan. 28, is in the last season of a five-year contract extension he signed after the Spurs won their most recent championship in 2014.
“I don’t know the answer,” Popovich said when asked about his plans for next season in an interview Wednesday night after the Spurs’ 105-101 victory over the Dallas Mavericks.
Popovich said he and R.C. Buford, San Antonio’s longtime team president, have periodically discussed the club’s various options after this season.
Source: Marc Stein of The New York Times