R.C. Buford spoke publicly about the San Antonio Spurs' preference to retain Kawhi Leonard despite his trade request.

"Kawhi and his family mean a lot to our organization and to our community," Buford said. "While none of us would wish we are where we are, we are going to do what we can to build the best relationship we can with him. We will explore all of our options, but the first one would be to keep Kawhi as part of our group."

Buford declined to comment on trade speculation surrounding Leonard on Thursday. 

Buford was asked about a timeline for getting Leonard's situation resolved.

"Yesterday," said Buford.

"I don't know that timing is a factor in this," Buford said. "He is under contract for another year. Our goal is to keep him as part of our program for a long time."