The 27-year-old looked likely to become a fixture in San Antonio for years to come before the beginning of the season and was heavily fancied to sign a five-year $219m extension with the Spurs this summer.
But tensions began to bubble between player and team over the course of a season in which he made just nine appearances while recovering from a troublesome quadriceps injury.
Leonard believed the Spurs’ medical staff misdiagnosed the initial injury, eventually seeking a second opinion away from the team in New York.
The 2014 Finals MVP sought out the help of renowned specialist Dr Jonathan Glashow to help monitor and advise him during the rehabilitation process.
It was a move that raised eyebrows given Dr Glashow’s relationship with the Philadelphia 76ers; the surgeon serves as the team’s chief medical officer.
Having played only nine times in 12 months, teams hoping to trade for Leonard will have question marks over the state of his health given such a lengthy lay-off.
But, speaking on the latest edition of The Woj Pod today, ESPN insider Adrian Wojnarowski claimed Philadelphia had been handed an advantage – even over the Spurs – in knowing the extent of Leonard’s injuries.
“The other thing is the health – not knowing the medical, not having the [information],” Woj said, describing teams’ reluctance to pull the trigger without knowing Leonard’s status.
“Philly is unique because one of their primary team physicians was the doctor that Kawhi went to for a second opinion in new York which, on the surface people said ‘how can that be?’ but it just is.
“It is very conceivable that Philly has more medical knowledge of Kawhi Leonard than the Spurs do because their doctors had more access to him.”
It comes after fellow NBA insider Bobby Marks claimed the Spurs should allow Boston permission to speak to Leonard in the hope of acquiring more assets in a potential trade.