The LA Clippers enter the 2021-22 NBA season without a great idea regarding the potential return date for superstar Kawhi Leonard, who underwent offseason surgery to repair a partially torn ACL.
Leonard was unable to finish the Western Conference Semi-Finals series the Clippers played against the top-seeded Utah Jazz. Regardless, Los Angeles managed to win in seven games but did not have enough firepower to defeat the Phoenix Suns in the Western Conference Finals.
When speaking with ESPN Staff Writer Ohm Youngmisuk, Clippers president of basketball operations Lawrence Frank made it clear ‘no one knows’ how long Kawhi Leonard’s recovery from ACL surgery will take before he’s able to return to the court.
“Oh, we don’t even breach that,” Frank said. “I think at this point, it’s just no one knows when you’re dealing with a recovery from an ACL [injury], the time frame.
“Even just to save you guys [from asking] throughout the year, is no one knows. You just attack it day by day. He has a very detailed plan with a great group, and we’ll just let his body and the doctors tell us when it’s the right time.”
The Clippers were thought of as a serious title threat when Kawhi Leonard and Paul George teamed up a few years ago, and for good reason. Since then, the NBA Bubble and a season-ending injury to Leonard have derailed their pursuit of the franchise’s first-ever Western Conference Finals appearance, but more so, first-ever NBA Finals victory.
There are valid questions about Kawhi Leonard’s recovery that must be answered before the LA Clippers can be factored in as a serious title threat during the 2021-22 NBA season. If he is unable to be a force upon his return, Paul George will have to shoulder too much of the load once again.