Why Kawhi Leonard Deserves a Max Contract from the San Antonio Spurs

October 28th, 2014 by James McNeill Leave a reply »

Kawhi Leonard became the third youngest NBA Finals MVP in league history this past June, behind only Magic Johnson, who twice earned the award at a younger age than Leonard.

This alone would make one think he is deserving of a max contract, I mean Gordon Hayward received one. But such a lucrative gesture has little precedent in San Antonio; only the immortal Tim Duncan has received the max from the Spurs.

Neither Manu Ginobili nor Tony Parker ever got a max contract, and even Duncan had to wait until 2003, after he had made the All-Star team five times, won two championships and Finals MVP awards, as well as back-to-back league MVP awards.

So why does Leonard deserve a max contract?

Part of the reason is the change in how and when these contracts are given. Part of it is Leonard's play.


The Nature of the Max Contract in the NBA

Max contracts have become speculative and much more relative. It used to be that a player would get a max contract in the prime of his career after enjoying all-star-level play for at least a few seasons.

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