The Los Angeles Clippers are contemplating whether or not to bring in Kawhi Leonard from the bench, according to multiple sources. Head coach Tyronn Lue wants to help manage his minutes.
Of course, load management should be on any coach’s mind after a player returns from an ACL injury. Outside of preseason, Leonard hasn’t appeared in a game since the second round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs.
Following a further review of the 2022-23 NBA season championship odds, some NBA betting sites are giving the Clippers the top 3 odds to win the title this season. Some sportsbooks show higher odds for the Boston Celtics and Golden State Warriors.
The Los Angeles Clippers have been considering taking Kawhi Leonard off the bench to start the season in order to manage his minutes, league sources say. @YahooSports.
—Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) October 20, 2022
The Clippers need the five-time All-Star to stay healthy. In the 2021-22 season, the team finished 42-40 (.512) and eighth overall in the Western Conference standings.
While Los Angeles lost to the Minnesota Timberwolves and New Orleans Pelicans in last season’s entry tournament, Lue did a fantastic job of coaching.
Considering the circumstances, the team was not expected to even qualify for the entry tournament. According to multiple sportsbooks, the Clippers’ projected win total for the 2022-23 season is 52.5.
Clippers head coach Tyronn Lue is deciding whether or not to bring Kawhi Leonard off the bench
With GM Michael Winger’s squad, the sky is the limit. In the second round of this year’s draft, Los Angeles selected Michigan star Moussa Diabate 43rd overall.
Also, after John Wall reached a buyout with the Houston Rockets, the 10-year veteran signed a two-year, $13.28 million deal with the Clippers.
In addition to Nicolas Batum and Ivica Zubac re-signing with the team, Amir Coffey also signed a three-year, $11 million deal.
During the 2020-21 season, in 52 starts, Leonard averaged 24.8 points, 6.5 rebounds, 5.2 assists, and 1.6 steals per game. Additionally, he shot 51.2% from the field and 39.8% from beyond the arc.
Before his injury, he received his fifth All-Star selection and his third All-NBA First-Team selection.
Last August, following Leonard’s decision to opt out of the final year of his original contract, the forward re-signed with the Clippers on a four-year, $176.3 million deal.
His deal includes a $48,787,676 player option for the 2024-25 season and a 15% trading bonus. Leonard’s salary for the 2022-23 season is $42,492,492, equal to nearly 22% of the team’s total salary cap.