​The Kawhi Leonard saga continues.


In the latest development of this seemingly never-ending soap opera, Michael C. Wright of ESPN reports that the San Antonio Spurs believe that their issues with the former 2014 Finals MVP began around the time of a trip to China in August, 2017.

As Wright explained on the Back to Back podcast, when Leonard was in the midst of a rehab assignment in New York prior to the trip, ​his representatives hid him from San Antonio management because of differences in how they thought his infamous injury should have been treated.


Because of the fallout from that incident, the Spurs could not get in contact with Leonard while he was there representing the organization on a subsequent trip to China. According to Wright, "If you talk to people within that organization, they'll tell you that was the turning point in the relationship when he went off to China and they could not get in touch with him. Everything changed after that."

Leonard now has a number of suitors around the league, though the Spurs ​prefer trading him to the Eastern Conference so as not to help bolster a rival out west. But as it stands, the melodrama is far from settled.