When the San Antonio Spurs gave up one of their top players, George Hill, in last year's NBA Draft and traded him over to the Indiana Pacers for Kawhi Leonard, they were able to get one heck of a deal.

Leonard showed himself as one of the top rookies in the league, playing well for San Antonio with eight points and five rebounds averaged per game.

The the Spurs core of Manu Ginobili, Tim Duncan and Tony Parker aging, they will eventually need to find a new man to lead the group very soon. Spurs head coach Greg Popovich believes that man will be Leonard, who thinks he can be a star and the face of San Antonio one day.

"I think he’s going to be a star. And as time goes on, he’ll be the face of the Spurs I think. At both ends of the court, he is really a special player. And what makes me be so confident about him is that he wants it so badly. He wants to be a good player, I mean a great player," Popovich told the team's official website when asked about the 21-year-old Leonard. "He comes early, he stays late, and he’s coachable, he’s just like a sponge. When you consider he’s only had one year of college and no training camp yet, you can see that he’s going to be something else."

Popovich is one of the most respected coaches in the league. Already winning the Coach of the Year award last season, he hopes to win another one with his young prospect in Leonard looking to lead the way very soon.

Josh Dhani is the founder of FootBasket. You can read more about him at his website. Follow him on Twitter @joshdhani.


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