Clippers’ Kawhi Leonard withdrawing from Team USA Basketball

Jul 10, 2024, 9:01 AM | Updated: 9:04 am

Kawhi Leonard looks on...

Kawhi Leonard #2 of the LA Clippers reacts during the fourth quarter against the Philadelphia 76ers at the Wells Fargo Center on March 27, 2024 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

(Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

Los Angeles Clippers small forward Kawhi Leonard is withdrawing from Team USA Basketball and will not participate in the Paris Olympics, the team announced.

Leonard’s camp reportedly reached out to Team USA two days ago “expressing concern,” according to Andscapes’s Marc J. Spears.

“Kawhi has been ramping up for the Olympics over the past several weeks and had a few strong practices in Las Vegas,” Team USA said in a statement posted on social media.

“He felt ready to compete, however, he respects that USA Basketball and the Clippers determined it’s in his best interest to spend the remainder of the summer preparing for the upcoming season rather than participating in the Olympic games in Paris.”

Leonard appeared in 68 games this past regular season but was sidelined for the final eight matchups due to a knee injury.

His absence bled into the first round of the NBA playoffs, with Leonard missing all but two of the six games against the Dallas Mavericks.

Los Angeles went on to lose the first-round series, 4-2.

Who is replacing Kawhi Leonard on Team USA?

Boston Celtics guard Derrick White is reportedly replacing Leonard on the Team USA roster, according to Spears.

Across 73 regular-season games, White averaged 15.2 points on 46.1% shooting and 39.6% from long range. He added 4.2 rebounds, 5.2 assists, one steal and 1.2 blocks across 32.6 minutes per game.

During Boston’s run to the NBA Finals (19 playoff games), White dropped 16.7 points per game to go along with 4.3 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 1.2 blocks.

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