There were strong rumors at the 2017-18 NBA trade deadline that the Cleveland Cavaliers were interested in trading for Kawhi Leonard. However, that trade -- among others -- never came through and Leonard remained with the San Antonio Spurs -- where he never played. Leonard refused to return from his injury while the Spurs claimed that he was healthy enough to help them as the playoffs grew near. The fact that Leonard did not come back to play and the split between the superstar and the Spurs is now almost definitely going to result in a trade. According to Sam Amico of Amico Hoops, the Spurs and head coach Gregg Popovich have said they don't want Kawhi at practices and want to trade him, but only to an Eastern Conference team.

Kawhi Leonard and the Spurs

Midway through the 2017-18 NBA season, it looked like the San Antonio Spurs were looking for trade partners for Kawhi Leonard. One of those trade partners were the Cleveland Cavaliers but they were also talking to the Boston Celtics as well. Nothing happened and it looked like the two sides might finally patch things up.

As soon as April, the San Antonio Spurs made it clear that they did not want to trade Kawhi Leonard. The Spurs are still great -- despite Manu Ginobili being 40, Pau Gasol being 37, Tony Parker losing a step, and Kawhi Leonard refusing to play hardly any minutes in the season. Despite that, the Spurs were back in the playoffs for the 21st season in a row.

At the time, the relationship between Gregg Popovich and Kawhi Leonard was still strong. That appears to have changed. Now, Pops doesn't want Leonard at the Spurs practices, wants to get him away from his team before he fractures it, and wants to trade him.

Where will Kawhi Leonard end up -- the Cavs?

A source spoke to NBA insider Peter Vecsey and said that Gregg Popovich made it clear that he was finished with Kawhi Leonard -- despite the superstar's talent.

Without him playing, his talent means nothing to the Spurs. From the sound of it, Leonard's uncle was "poisoning his mind" against the San Antonio Spurs organization.

The source was adamant though that the Kawhi Leonard trade would only be to an Eastern Conference team. The last thing the San Antonio Spurs wants to do is add another superstar team to a Western Conference that already includes the Houston Rockets and Golden State Warriors.

The teams possibly interested in Kawhi Leonard include the Cleveland Cavaliers, Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers.