Who will replace Olympic basketball star Kawhi Leonard? Answered

Who will replace Olympic basketball star Kawhi Leonard? Answered

The unfortunate news that LA Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard won’t be able to participate in the 2024 Paris Olympics has left a pretty big roster spot open. Leonard, a two-time NBA champion, was pulled due to a nagging knee issue that’s been pestering him since the NBA playoffs. So who’s replacing him? Read on to find out.

The decision to pull Leonard, by the way, was a joint decision between Team USA Basketball and the Clippers’ management, per a statement released on July 10. Leonard was notably absent from the team’s shaky 86-72 victory against Canada in an exhibition game.

Replacing Leonard will be none other than Boston Celtics guard Derrick White. While Leonard is experiencing a bad time, White is going through one of the most eventful times of his career. White, 30, won the NBA championship with the Celtics and then signed a $125.9 million contract extension for four years. Now he’s an Olympian.

In an interview before the Kawhi announcement with the Boston Herald, White said he was pumped to potentially join the Olympic team:

“Any chance you can play for your country and just try to win a gold medal, I think that would definitely be something that, if Kawhi (can’t play) and they ask me, I’ll definitely be looking forward to.”

White will join Team USA for its next exhibition game against Australia in Abu Dhabi on July 5. After that, the team plays Serbia on July 17, South Sudan on July 20, and Germany on July 22. Olympic play will start on July 28 against Serbia.

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