While we wait for further development on the Kawhi Leonard trade front, the San Antonio Spurs may have just gained an additional bargaining chip in getting their unhappy star forward to stay.

Besides the departure of Tony Parker (the purportedly quote source of the straw that broke the camel’s back), Bobby Marks of ESPN reports that the good news for the seven-year veteran comes in the form of his super max eligibility.

Kawhi Leonard is now super max eligible (third year anniversary of the contract signed on July 16, 2015) to receive a five-year $221 million extension from the Spurs. If Leonard is traded, the most he could receive in an extension (six months after the trade) would be $108 million over four-years (starting in 2019-20). Leonard would be eligible to sign a five-year $190 million contract as a free agent with the team acquiring him or four-years $141 million with a team that has cap space. Leonard would not be super max eligible as a free agent with the new team acquiring him even if he earned All-NBA honors in 2018-19.

Basically, if Leonard decides to stick with his current team, he can sign a contract that could start at a whopping $44 million annually. On the other hand, if he gets traded, the team that acquires Leonard can only sign him to an extension that starts at about $27 million or they could also allow him to become a free agent during which they have slightly more leeway at a salary that starts at $38 million albeit risking the chance of another team offering him a slightly similar salary that’s just a year shorter:

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