In what can only be described as unprecedented news out of San Antonio, the Spurs are reportedly at odds with Kawhi Leonard over his rehabilitation from his quad injury. This is something the franchise cannot afford given the aging, injured roster they have.

Who killed Kawhi?

Leonard has been battling a recurring quad injury. He originally injured his quad during Game 1 of the 2017 Western Conference Finals. Golden State Warriors’ center Zaza Pachulia stepped under him as he was coming down from taking a jump shot. Leonard spent the entire offseason rehabbing, but he did not play in an NBA game until December 2017.

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich has been managing his minutes since his return, initially playing him every other game. However, he is now back on the sideline indefinitely, and there is no timetable for his return. At this point, you and I both have as good a guess as anyone on the Spurs.

Which path is Kawhi taking?

Leonard, known for his durability, is on the path towards becoming the next Derrick Rose; a promising career decimated by injuries. Rose tore his ACL in the first round of the 2011-12 NBA Playoffs and has not been the same since. He has not played in the All-Star Game since the injury, nor has he averaged above 20 points per game. Other highlights include going missing for a day as a member the New York Knicks and more leg injuries as a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

However, Leonard’s injury also reminds me of what happened to Kevin Durant. As a member of the Thunder, Durant had a foot injury that caused him to miss the majority of the 2014-15 NBA season. After taking the rest of the season off, he has continued to flourish. Among other things, he has continued his streak of All-Star selections (dating back to 2010) and won his first NBA title last year.

He has also earned two more all-NBA selections and was named NBA Finals MVP after taking that year off to heal.

Has Pop lost his touch?

Gregg Popovich is not known for having public disputes with his players. However, aside from this issue with Kawhi, he stated how Spurs big man LaMarcus Aldridge had expressed his desire to be traded.

Pop also detailed how he was able to work out their differences, and it seems like Aldridge is happier in San Antonio than he was before.

This news about Kawhi also comes on the heels of Sunday night’s loss to the Indiana Pacers, where long-time point guard Tony Parker was benched in favor of Dejounte Murray. Parker, who has won four titles over his career as part of the Spurs’ “Big Three,” has been struggling with injuries and accepted his benching with grace.

The case with Kawhi, however, is very important and could be franchise-altering if not handled correctly. When healthy, he makes the Spurs more dangerous. Since entering the league in 2011, he received an All-Rookie First Team selection, two All-NBA and All-Star selections, and four consecutive All-Defensive selections (since 2013).

He was also named the Defensive Player of the Year in 2015 and 2016.

The Spurs need to address this as soon as possible, and Kawhi needs to take time off from the game and heal. If the two sides cannot agree to this, the Spurs will be left to manage a crumbling roster, while he will seek to leave San Antonio. Hopefully, the Spurs' record of player development can help them keep him in San Antonio or have a replacement if he leaves because it is extremely hard to replace a player like Kawhi Leonard.