Los Angeles Clippers star forward Kawhi Leonard wasn’t scheduled to play Wednesday night in a much-anticipated nationally televised showdown with the Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo, and the NBA doesn’t have a problem with it, according to an ESPN report.
The Clippers listed Leonard on the injury report with a knee injury, meaning the club is within its rights to rest Leonard on the front end of a back-to-back.
“Kawhi Leonard is not a healthy player under the league’s resting policy, and, as such, is listed as managing a knee injury in the L.A. Clippers injury report,” spokesman Mike Bass told ESPN. “The league office, in consultation with the NBA’s director of sports medicine, is comfortable with team medical staff’s determination that Leonard is not sufficiently healthy to play in back-to-back games at this time.”
Leonard has yet to play both games of a back-to-back this season and last played in a set in April 2017, when he was a member of the San Antonio Spurs. Leonard played in just nine games for the Spurs in 2017-18 due to a quadriceps injury and played in just 60 of 82 regular-season games for the Toronto Raptors last season.
—Golden State forward Draymond Green will miss the Warriors’ three-game road trip due to his finger injury, and guard D’Angelo Russell will sit at least one game with an ankle injury, coach Steve Kerr said.
Green sustained a torn ligament in his left index finger in Friday’s 127-110 loss to San Antonio and missed the past two games. He won’t travel with the team for games against Houston, Minnesota and Oklahoma City.
Meanwhile, Russell was ruled out of Wednesday night’s game against the Rockets as he continues to recover from a sprained right ankle suffered against the Spurs in a 30-point performance. Kerr said Russell could return Friday against the Timberwolves.
—Toronto Raptors forward Patrick McCaw underwent arthroscopic surgery to remove a benign mass on the back of his left knee, the team announced. The surgery came after McCaw reported discomfort. Dr. Riley Williams at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York performed the operation.
No timetable has been set for McCaw’s return, but he’ll be evaluated in four weeks. He will not travel with the Raptors on their five-game road trip that begins Friday.
McCaw missed four of the defending champions’ first six games this season because of the issue. He averaged 4.0 points and 3.0 rebounds in wins against the Orlando Magic (Oct. 28) and Detroit Pistons (Oct. 30).
—Veteran forward Kenneth Faried has signed to play in China, according to multiple reports.
Stadium’s Jeff Goodman said Faried signed a one-year deal in excess of $2 million. Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia, however, reported Faried’s deal was worth $4.4 million to play for the Zhejiang Lions.
A full-season NBA minimum contract would have paid Faried $2,320,044. Faried, 29, has played eight NBA seasons, seven with the Denver Nuggets. He split last season between the Brooklyn Nets and Houston Rockets.
—Field Level Media