(Photo credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports)
Kawhi Leonard and Paul George are healthy and intent on participating without restriction when the Los Angeles Clippers open training camp next week.
Leonard (knee) was knocked out of the playoff series with the Phoenix Suns with an injury and George missed the postseason and final month of the regular season with hyperextended knee.
Clippers vice president Lawrence Frank said Wednesday the franchise is discussing new contracts with both players, labeling them as motivated entering the 2023-24 season.
"We all have something to prove. We're all disappointed with how last season ended," Frank said.
When the season begins, the Clippers are one of the teams fans will be watching to gauge the impact of the new rest restriction rules rolled out by the league and applicable to the All-Star tandem.
"When our guys are healthy, they play. And that's the bottom line," Frank said, adding that "there's a difference between being injured and the 'load management.' When they're healthy, they play. When they're unhealthy, then they don't."
Leonard is planning to "attack everything," Frank said, and is driven to get back to where he was when another knee injury sent him to the sideline against the Suns.
"It's such a shame that he got injured at the worst possible time. His last 35 games, he was on an unbelievable tear," Frank said.
The Clippers got 56 games out of George and 52 from Leonard during the 2022-23 regular season. George missed the final nine games of the season and the full series against Phoenix and Leonard was absent for the final three games of the series after tearing the meniscus in his right knee.
Leonard, who missed all of the 2021-22 season after undergoing offseason surgery to repair a torn right ACL, has not played more than 57 games in a season since coming to Los Angeles in 2019.
George's 56 games last season were a personal best in his four years with the team.
--Field Level Media