Kawhi Leonard withdraws from USA’s Paris Olympics 2024 squad

Los Angeles Clippers power forward Kawhi Leonard withdrew from Team USA, which is set to participate in the Paris Olympics 2024. The forthcoming edition of the quadrennial tournament would have been the first Olympics for the six-time All-Star. Notably, Leonard missed 12 of the LA Clippers’ final 14 games last season due to right knee inflammation. 

USA Basketball released a statement on Wednesday, July 9, and said “Kawhi has been ramping up for the Olympics over the past several weeks and had a few strong practices in Las Vegas.” It added, “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.”

Derrick White to replace Kawhi Leonard 

According to The Athletic, Derrick White of the Boston Celtics is a strong candidate to replace the player on the Paris games roster. Earlier this week, Leonard said that his knee was fine and he would take part in training. He was quoted by ESPN as saying, “Everything’s been good so far. [The knee has] been at a neutral state, and I hope it stays that way.”

Clippers coach Tyronn Lue also spoke about the 33-year-old’s health and told ESPN, “He’s been good, the best I’ve seen him move since he got injured. Moving really good. It’s good to see him healthy and trending in the right direction.”

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