Update: Leonard will come off the bench Thursday against the Lakers and the reasoning is quite odd if you ask me. Head coach Tyronn Lue also said Leonard would come off the bench so the team could use him at the end of the games, which doesn’t really make sense for a number of reasons. Leonard can start, play for a bit and then rest. The Clippers have a deep rotation, so finding replacement minutes isn’t a problem. LA is being cautious but eventually Leonard is going to have to play big minutes for this team to win a title.
Kawhi Leonard will come off the bench for the Clippers tonight against the Lakers. “He wanted to do what was best for the team,” Clippers coach Ty Lue said. “This is what he felt comfortable with.”— Vincent Goodwill (@VinceGoodwill) October 21, 2022
The Los Angeles Clippers are considering the possibility of bringing Kawhi Leonard off the bench to start the season, according to Chris Haynes. Leonard missed all of last season with a torn ACL and has experienced leg issues in the last few years, so this is all a strategy to keep him healthy when the games really start to count.
Los Angeles Clippers have been considering the possibility of bringing Kawhi Leonard off the bench to start the season in order to manage his minutes, league sources tell @YahooSports.— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) October 20, 2022
Leonard is no stranger to load management, and in fact could be considered the pioneer for the term. He would sit out the second of back-to-back games religiously after recovering from his first leg injury, which was a quad issue. Even after missing all of last season to heal, the Clippers are going to be careful with their star. This is a big season for LA, especially given the roster they have. If Leonard isn’t healthy, they likely get knocked down a bit among the title contenders.
From a fantasy and DFS standpoint, Leonard likely loses some value as a top tier player. Look for Paul George to be the more reliable option to start the season in fantasy and DFS formats.