Kawhi Leonard of the San Antonio Spurs wants to continue prioritizing team success over individual achievements for the upcoming 2015-2016 NBA Season. Known as a silent but deadly forward since joining the league in 2011, the 24-year-old Leonard will be one of the top guys in San Antonio’s roster even with the arrival of star forward LaMarcus Aldridge, the Spurs’ prized acquisition earlier in the offseason.
"I just want [another] one of those up there," Leonard said to the San Antonio Express-News when asked about his priorities in the upcoming season, referring to the championship banners in the Spurs’ arena. "In 2014 I wasn’t an All-Star or Defensive Player of the Year, if I can get back and win a championship, that’s what I’m trying to do."
The Leonard’s role, especially on offense, is expected to expand for the new year with the Spurs’ trio of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili all entering their twilight years in their NBA careers.
Leonard, who was the 15th overall pick by the Spurs in the 2011 NBA Draft, averaged career-highs of 16.5 points, 7.2 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.3 steals per game in 64 outings in the regular season and upped those to 20.3 points, 7.4 rebounds, 2.6 assists in 7 playoff games last year.
In the same article, Greg Popovich, the head coach of the Spurs, stated that he’s not surprised about Leonards’ priorities saying that the versatile forward is the ultimate team player who prefers team success over any individual achievement.
With the continued growth of Leonard and the acquisition of Aldridge plus another key free agent signing in veteran David West, the Spurs are considered one of the top contenders for the NBA title in the upcoming season.