At this point it can no longer be a surprise, but the Clippers have made it official:
Kawhi Leonard is out for Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals. Tyronn Lue said on Sunday Leonard would not be traveling with the team to Phoenix.
Leonard has not played in any Western Conference Finals game and missed the end of the second round against Utah with what has officially only been described as a right knee sprain. There are reports that this is an ACL injury, but the grade of sprain or exactly what else may be going on is not known.
There also are reports Leonard is frustrated with the Clippers’ medical staff. Here are three quick thoughts on that:
1) The Clippers have given Leonard and his doctors their own lane on this, with sources saying his doctors are driving the decisions and the franchise is taking a back seat. That said, Leonard has a history of frustration with team medical staffs going back to San Antonio.
2) Leonard hasn’t spoken on the issue, and good luck trying to read into his facial expressions/body language. We do not know what is actually thinking.
3) This is not expected to impact his offseason decision, when sources around the league still widely expect Leonard will re-sign with the Clippers.
Phoenix leads the Western Conference Finals 3-1 and can close it out at home Monday night.