USA Basketball Chairman Jerry Colangelo announced today San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard will not participate in the USA Men's Basketball mini-camp set to start next week in Las Vegas as Leonard is continuing to rehab after a long season.
In his final media session of the season, Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich said he, Leonard, and the team doctors would need to discuss the possibility of Leonard playing with Team USA this summer after Leonard had lingering left knee issues throughout the season that stretched all the way into the NBA Finals.
Leonard can use the rest and rehab this summer as he'll be expected to continue to play extended minutes in his upcoming third NBA season. After his breakout performance in the NBA Finals averaging 14.6 points and 11.1 rebounds while still defending Finals MVP LeBron James, Popovich said in the 2013-2014 season Leonard will begin to have some plays run for him on offense.
Former Spurs and now Indiana Pacers point guard George Hill is one of three players who has been added to the USA Basketball roster.
This is good news. The last thing you want is KL needlessly putting added stress on that knee. You know, being a gymrat, he's gonna be working hard during the offseason and rather that than this. It seems like this summer, Spurs management asked some guys to bypass international competition for personal work and rest (Splitter, Manu and now KL). If only the French contingent (mainly, Parker) were as accommodating.
i know kawhi is probably dissappointed but i know the spurs staff told kawhi not to worry, get healthy this offseason and take a break and in the future we all know kawhi will get plenty of opportunties to play for team usa. this is about getting ready for his big time all star introduction this upcoming year.