After consulting with the team’s medical staff Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard has opted to pass on an invitation to participate in a Team USA training camp in Las Vegas scheduled to begin on July 21.
Leonard was one of 27 players named to take part in the camp, under the direction of Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski, who will once again coach the USA Basketball Mens Senior National Team in international competition through the 2016 Olympic tournament in Rio De Janeiro.
Team USA announced on Tuesday that three players — former Spurs guard George Hill, now of the Indiana Pacers; Charlotte’s Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Oklahoma State’s Marcus Smart — have been added to the Las Vegas camp roster.
After his outstanding play in the Spurs playoff run that took them to Game 7 of the 2013 NBA Finals Leonard remains a strong candidate to represent USA Basketball in future FIBA tournaments, beginning with the FIBA World Cup tournament in Spain next summer, his non-participation in this summer’s training camp notwithstanding. He was the Spurs’ No. 3 scorer (13.5 points per game) and No. 2 rebounder (6.7 per game) during a post-season run that also established him as one of the NBA’s best defenders.
Leonard missed 24 games last season because of problems related to quadriceps tendinitis, also known as “jumper’s knee.” He played in all 21 playoff games. He was a member of the Select Team of young stars that helped prepare Team USA for the 2012 Olympic tournament in London.
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