The Raptors essentially let him set his own schedule in a return from the quadricep tendon issue that cost him the previous season (and, ultimately, helped ruin his relationship with the Spurs). Leonard played in just 60 regular season game — and it worked. He was a force in the playoffs, leading Toronto to its first-ever title and winning Finals MVP again.
So the Clippers are going to follow that same script, right? Nope. Expect to see more Leonard, according to Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times.
One takeaway from time with Doc Rivers/Lawrence Frank today – Kawhi Leonard’s “load management” will not be as strict as it was a season ago in Toronto.
— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) September 20, 2019
There are probably a few causes for this. One is that Leonard could also be feeling a bit of more healthy and that he can tackle extra now. With a deep Clippers roster (particularly as soon as Paul George returns from his shoulder surgical procedures) it’s additionally potential the Clippers can restrict Leonard’s in-game minutes, he averaged 34 a recreation when he performed, which was prime 20 within the league.
The larger issue is the West is so deep with good groups the Clippers merely can’t have him sit as a lot and nonetheless get an excellent seed. Toronto may let Leonard relaxation and nonetheless gained 58 video games and had the 2 seed. That’s not how the West — with the Lakers, Rockets, Jazz, Nuggets, Path Blazers, and Warriors — goes to go. The Clippers are going to wish Leonard to win video games most nights, and so they definitely wish to get a top-four seed and be dwelling to begin the postseason.
Leonard might play extra early within the season and get extra relaxation on the again half, as soon as George returns to type and takes over a few of the load on the wing. However he’s going to play.
The Clippers merely want him.