Can the relationship between Kawhi Leonard and the Spurs be repaired?

For now, the Spurs’ future is on hold awaiting the Popovich-Leonard sitdown. How Popovich details his own coaching future to Leonard could be an interesting subplot of the conversation. Since the Spurs won their fifth NBA championship in 2014, Buford has had to be prepared for the possibility of Popovich, 69, coaching a final season and moving on to retirement. Every year, they need to make sure there will be one more season for Popovich. It’s only natural, this deep into his career.

Few in his orbit expect Popovich to coach the Spurs beyond the 2020 Summer Olympics, and there always has been the possibility that he could spend the 2019-20 season traveling around the NBA and across the globe, preparing for his national team duties. Perhaps Popovich can have Leonard on Team USA in 2020, too, but that’s a conversation for a different day.

For now, Gregg Popovich and Kawhi Leonard are trying to find a way to get through the summer of 2018 — and beyond — together. They’re a long way from the offer of a $219 million contract, from a franchise and a franchise star resurrecting a relationship.
The process will start soon, where it started seven years ago on draft night: between Popovich and Leonard.