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
Report: Warriors ‘hopeful’ of Kevin Durant Return in NBA Finals, DeMarcus Cousins Expected to Return
Warriors forward Kevin Durant (strained right calf) and center DeMarcus Cousins (torn left quadriceps muscle) were evaluated by the team’s medical staff earlier today.
Durant, who has not yet been cleared to begin on-court activities, continues to make good progress with his rehabilitation. At this point, it is unlikely that he will play at the beginning of the 2019 NBA Finals, but it’s hopeful that he could return at some point during the series.
Cousins also continues to make good progress with his rehabilitation and practiced with the team today for the first time since suffering the injury on April 16. It’s anticipated that he will play at some point during the 2019 NBA Finals, but the exact date is to be determined and depends on his progress.
The status for both players will be updated next Wednesday.
Source: Golden State Warriors
Sources: Trail Blazers, Damian Lillard Expected to Agree to Four-Year Supermax Extension
Damian Lillard and the Portland Trail Blazers are expected to come to terms over the summer on a four-year, $191 million supermax contract extension, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
Lillard would officially qualify for the supermax if he’s voted to one of the three All-NBA Teams, which is virtually a lock for the four-time All-Star.
Lillard has two years and approximately $62 million remaining on his current deal. The extension would put him under contract for the next six years, and he’d be 34 years old by the time the deal expires, perhaps solidifying his status as arguably the greatest Trail Blazer of all time.
According to rival executives, a new pact for Lillard would almost certainly include a player option, something the guard bypassed on his previous deal.
Source: Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports
Sources: Clippers ‘equally dangerous threat to Knicks’ to Sign Kevin Durant in Free Agency
As for the bigger-picture matter of Durant’s future: I am unafraid to announce, with no trace of hot-takery, that firm predictions about what Durant will do when free agency starts in 40 days are ill-advised.
Within the last month, very smart and plugged-in people I have consulted say that the Los Angeles Clippers have emerged as an equally dangerous threat to the Knicks to sign Durant away from Golden State. And I believe it.
Problem is, at various points during the season, I have heard trusted insiders state with conviction that Durant is already planning to join the Knicks … and then that he is likely to consider the Nets as well … and now that he is eyeing the Clippers just as intently as New York.
It leads one to conclude that maybe the best forecast, at least for the moment, is that nobody but Durant and his business manager Rich Kleiman know.
Source: Marc Stein of The New York Times