It was a relatively quiet draft night front for the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday, as they came away with two picks using the No. 30 and No. 48 overall selections. It remains to be seen whether either Kobe Brown or Jordan Miller will pan out to be above-average assets and exceed expectations according to their draft positions, but if Clippers fans needed a piece of guaranteed (sort of) good news, then they got it from the Kawhi Leonard injury front.
Kawhi Leonard underwent a cleanup procedure on the torn meniscus in his right knee and is expected to be “100%” ready for LA Clippers training camp in October. Clippers president of basketball operations Lawrence Frank said that the team’s franchise forward “feels great” and has an eight-week recovery timetable from when he underwent the procedure on June 6.
The Clippers only have one more year left of full control over Leonard, who has a player option to decide on by the end of the 2023-24 NBA season. That’s a $48.787 million option that Leonard is likely to keep because potential suitors might not be all that interested in offering him money larger than that given his injury history. But if he shows up like vintage The Klaw while keeping all his limbs working the entire year, who knows what the free agency landscape will look like a year from now?
In any case, a healthy Kawhi is a terrific update for the Clippers, who severely missed him in the last playoffs in which he played in only two games before the Phoenix Suns crushed them the rest of the way in the first round.