Angels — Kawhi Leonard Full participation in training camp next week has been approved but the Los Angeles Clippers will continue to work cautiously “step by step”.
Lawrence Frank, Clippers’ head of basketball operations, said Leonard’s first 5v5 tournament will take place at camp, which begins next Tuesday in Las Vegas.
It feels good,” Frank said at the team training center. “His plan is, look, he wants to be involved in everything. And I think organizationally, we’re going to be careful. So it’s going to be a piecemeal approach.”
Frank later added, “He’s been acquitted. To him, he’ll say, Look, I want to do everything. Again, we’ll be very careful in approach.”
Leonard missed the entirety of last season while recovering from a right anterior cruciate ligament tear in Game 4 of the second round of the playoffs series against the Utah Jazz on June 14, 2021.
After spending three days training at UNLV, the Clippers will travel to Seattle, where they will play their first two pre-season games on September 30 and October 3. Frank has yet to say if Leonard will play in pre-season. The team will take it day in and day out and follow Leonard’s notes.
“When you’re dealing with a major injury, you can’t predict,” Frank said. “I know with him, he wants to do everything, but we’ll kind of see how he feels every day. We have an outstanding medical team, and we’re playing the long game with him. So we’re not getting into predictions, what he’s going to do or not do.”
“…We’ll find out, is this what’s best for his body? It might be one day. The next day, we’ll have to reassess. We’ll depend on the feedback we get from Kawhi, and obviously from the medicine team. It’s too early to predict.” We have time before we need to make it happen.”
Frank also said that Paul George’s tear in his right elbow had fully healed. George missed three months due to injury last season before making a comeback for five games late in the regular season. He played in the Clippers’ first game but missed the second and final game due to health and safety protocols.
“His elbow is 100 percent healthy,” Frank said. “Paul has been very purposeful, driven and very productive in the off-season, his training consistency has been off the charts. Plus he continues to take on more and more ownership and leadership roles. As you know, he has had a lot to do by getting John Wall to come here.”
George and Leonard organized off-season training for the players in San Diego and Santa Barbara. One player who has had a steady presence in training is Wall, who has signed with the Clippers off-season. The former star will compete with Reggie Jackson to the starting point.
The Clippers will be one of the deepest teams in the league this season and that depth will help if they need to support Leonard at a cautious pace.
“Basically, Kawhi played a lot of controlled basketball for a long time,” Frank said. “Even though 5-on-5 is seen as a standard, it’s a lot more complicated than that. Ultimately, it’s continuing the trend toward being able to play in an NBA basketball game, and so it’s going to continue to take those steps in the future. camp.”
Frank added, “We know the big picture. We know what our goal is, and we’ll be very careful and take a systematic approach.”