Spurs' Kawhi Leonard, Tiago Splitter out for opener Tuesday vs. Mavericks
San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard and forward/center Tiago Splitter won't play in the team's season opener Tuesday night against the Dallas Mavericks due to injuries, the team announced Monday night.
Leonard has been dealing with an eye infection that's kept him out of most of the team's training camp. He's missed all but one of the team's preseason games because of the infection, which spread from one of his eyes to the other.
Leonard, 23, was named the MVP of last season's NBA Finals after averaging 17.8 points, 6.4 rebounds, 1.6 steals and 1.2 blocks while shooting 61.2 percent from the field and 57.9 percent on three-pointers. He averaged 12.8 points and 6.2 rebounds in the regular season.
It was reported Monday that long-term contract extension discussions between Leonard and the Spurs have recently stalled. If the fourth-year pro doesn't agree to an extension by Friday, he'll become a restricted free agent next summer.
San Antonio would have the right to match any offer sheet extended to Leonard in restricted free agency.
Splitter, 29, averaged 8.2 points and 6.2 rebounds in 21.5 minutes per game in his fourth NBA season in 2013-14.
It's unknown exactly how long either player will be out, though neither is expected to miss significant time.
The Spurs will receive their 2014 NBA Championship rings and raise the banner commemorating their title before playing the Mavericks on Tuesday.
The game is a rematch of a first-round playoff series last season, in which San Antonio defeated Dallas in seven games. No opponent won more than two games in the Spurs' final three playoff series.
- Ben Estes