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Report: Kawhi Leonard Has ‘partial tear’ in Left Shoulder

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San Antonio Spurs star forward Kawhi Leonard has a “partial tear” in his left shoulder, according to coach Gregg Popovich.

According to a league source, at this point the organization doesn’t think the injury is serious following the initial diagnosis. Leonard was ruled out of Sunday night’s game at Portland, and the club plans to evaluate Leonard over the next couple days of its current road trip, which continues Monday at Sacramento and concludes Thursday in Los Angeles against the Lakers.

“I don’t think it will be a while,” Popovich said regarding Leonard’s status following the Spurs’ 111-110 loss to the Trail Blazers.

The injury occurred during San Antonio’s 103-89 win Friday over the Phoenix Suns. Popovich said before Sunday’s game in Portland he wasn’t sure whether Leonard would play at any point during the Spurs’ road trip.

“I don’t know,” Popovich said. “It depends on how his shoulder goes. It’s too bad because he was starting to get back into form a little bit after playing a couple of games.”

The latest setback represents yet another roadblock for Leonard in his return, as he missed the first 27 games of the season rehabilitating from quadriceps tendinopathy. The club has held out Leonard for five games since he returned Dec. 12 as a component of what it has called “return from injury management.”

Source: Michael C. Wright of ESPN

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Sources: Trevor Ariza Seeking $50-60 Million in Free Agency

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Aside from the looming contract talks of Clint Capela and Chris Paul, the free agency of veteran forward Trevor Ariza’s is another issue the Rockets will need to address come July 1.

Throughout his career, Ariza has signed relatively team-friendly deals, never earning more than $8.5 million per season. According to a person with knowledge of Ariza’s thinking, the veteran small forward will seek a larger deal once free agency arrives. Ariza is believed to want a contract in the range of $50-60 million over 4-5 years, more than $30-40 million Houston would likely offer. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak on the record about Ariza or the Rockets’ free agency plans.

Source: Kelly Iko of USA TODAY Sports

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Sources: Kawhi Leonard Prefers Trade to Lakers

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San Antonio’s Kawhi Leonard has Los Angeles — preferably the Lakers — at the center of his preferences for a trade destination, league sources tell ESPN.

Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter

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Sources: Nuggets, Hawks Contemplating Kenneth Faried Trade

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The Nuggets are aggressively seeking to shed salary by trading forward Kenneth Faried, and the Hawks are willing to accommodate them for the right price, according to a person with knowledge of the NBA trade market.

The Hawks would seek draft picks, young players or both as part of a deal with the Nuggets or any other team that wants to reduce payroll. The Nuggets own the No. 14 overall pick in next week’s draft, and their expendable young players include recent draft picks Malik Beasley and Tyler Lydon.

The Nuggets are looking to reduce their salary commitments for next season. Faried is owed $13.8 million in 2018-19, the final year of his deal, and he fell out of Denver’s rotation this season with a career-low 461 minutes played.

Source: Michael Cunningham of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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