On to Greener Pastures: Kawhi Leonard

ESPN sources claim that Kawhi was “very close” to a new four-year extension with Jordan worth more than $20 million. Discussions were severed because Kawhi and his team believed that Kawhi’s value came at a higher price. Currently, he rakes in only $500,000 from Jordan, significantly lower than his superstar peers. Comparing to Paul George, who earns $5.5 million from Nike, Kawhi Leonard is extremely underpaid.

Kawhi Leonard feels disrespected by his current shoe deal and wants a shoe deal that matches his playing value. Unfortunately for him, that is not how shoe contracts work. Kawhi currently has 184,000 twitter followers and his last tweet was from 2015. Paul George has tweeted 17,200 times and has 1.2 million followers. Paul George knows how to market himself, thus he gains a larger following, and with that comes a lucrative shoe deal.

Kawhi Leonard is finally trying to find his voice. Recently, he appeared in a Nike commercial where he acted as a ninja and actually spoke.

For all intents and purposes, Kawhi Leonard is a significantly better player than Paul George, leading his team to more success and individually dominating almost every game he performs in.

So how does this tie into where Kawhi is headed next off-season? Let’s not forget that his contract officially ends in 2019-2020, so theoretically he is stuck with the Spurs.

But what if he realizes that the Spurs are holding him back, that a big market could market him better and make him into that household name he has always wanted to become? Do we remember how Paul George demanded a trade from Indiana, or how Kevin Durant bolted from Oklahoma City?

For a player devoid of injuries thus far in his career, the soft-spoken ‘Klaw’ has played in just 9 games this year. The question remains: Is a quad injury really holding him back from playing or is he holding out?

The answer may be hidden between the lines. Kawhi, apparently unable to make any of the Spurs’ playoff games, was spotted at a Los Angeles Dodgers home game on May 11. Is he headed back to his hometown to play with Lonzo Ball and company?

Whether it be KD tired of being ‘second fiddle’, Kobe getting tired of Shaq’s antics, or Kyrie not wanting to hear Lebron yell at him every huddle, super-stars can’t deal with restrictions by their organization. Kawhi is starting to feel the handcuffs the Spurs have placed on him and his character. He wants to be an all-time great, and to do so, he must leave the black and white.

Is it finally time for Kawhi to find his voice? Is it time for Kawhi to move on to greener pastures?

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