Clippers fear Kawhi Leonard suffered ACL injury | Inquirer Sports
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Clippers fear Kawhi Leonard suffered ACL injury

/ 02:28 PM June 17, 2021
Kawhi Leonard #2 of the Los Angeles Clippers holds his knee during the second half against the Utah Jazz i

(FILES) In this file photo taken on June 14, 2021, Kawhi Leonard #2 of the Los Angeles Clippers holds his knee during the second half against the Utah Jazz in Game Four of the Western Conference second-round playoff series at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by KEVORK DJANSEZIAN / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP)

Kawhi Leonard missed Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinal series on Wednesday with a knee injury.

The Los Angeles Clippers confirmed Leonard has a sprained right knee and didn’t play in his team’s 119-111 win over the Utah Jazz that gave them a 3-2 lead in the series.

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The Athletic reported the team fears Leonard suffered an ACL injury.

ESPN reported Leonard’s status for the remainder of the best-of-seven series is very much in doubt.

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Leonard can opt out of his current contract and return to free agency at the end of the season. There is precedent for an All-NBA type of talent reaching a contract year and receiving maximum value.

The Nets pulled off a sign-and-trade to get Kevin Durant from the Golden State Warriors in July 2019 despite a ruptured Achilles. He signed a four-year, $164.25 million deal — the max contract under NBA rules at the time — and did not play in 2019-2020.

The same summer, Leonard signed a three-year, $103 million deal with an opt out in 2021. He has played for the San Antonio Spurs, Toronto Raptors and Clippers.

The five-time All-Star turns 30 on June 29.

A First Team All-NBA selection this season, Leonard left Game 4 against the Utah Jazz with a right knee injury, but said “I’ll be good” for Game 5.

Leonard grabbed for the knee after bumping into Utah’s Joe Ingles, and he departed less than a minute later.

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TAGS: Kawhi Leonard, Los Angeles Clippers
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