With the LA Clippers fighting to go the distance in the Western Conference Finals, the burning question on everyone’s mind is will Kawhi Leonard return for a potential Game 7 or the NBA Finals?
Kawhi Leonard will not play in Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals on Wednesday night in LA. While his official status for a potential Game 7 is unknown, Chris Haynes of Yahoo! Sports says Leonard will not play at any point in this series against the Phoenix Suns.
However, Haynes also had some good news for LA Clippers fans. Leonard is making progress with the rehab of his knee injury, and there’s a chance he could be available in the Finals if they make it that far.
“I was told Kawhi Leonard is not ruling out a return at all in this postseason,” Haynes added. “But if he’s going to return, it will happen in the NBA Finals if [the Clippers] get to that point. And even if they do get to that point, he will consult with the team and they will go back and forth to figure out the best course of action from there.”
Kawhi Leonard could return if Clippers reach NBA Finals
The prospect of Leonard playing in the Finals is an exciting one. The two-time Finals MVP is one of basketball’s best playoff performers with a bonafide knack for coming up clutch in the biggest games. Prior to being sidelined by his knee injury, Leonard was averaging 30.4 points, 7.7 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game this postseason. He was scoring in an efficient fashion, shooting 57.3 percent from the field and 39.3 percent from distance.
Leonard is hyper-competitive and wants to win a ring with his hometown team, but he’s also been known to protect his health first and foremost. It’s difficult to know what his intentions are should the Clippers reach the Finals and how much he’d be willing to risk for a chance at his third title.
Of course, he’s also not the type to tell you himself, and the team hasn’t provided a timeline on his return. However, if he’s anywhere close, as Haynes suggests he may be, it would make for a fascinating storyline in the Finals if the Clippers get that far.