Kawhi Leonard Out vs. Warriors as Hip Injury Forces Him to Miss 2nd Straight

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistDecember 13, 2018

Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard during a pause in action in the first half of an NBA basketball game after the game, Friday, Dec. 7, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
Mary Altaffer/Associated Press

Toronto Raptors superstar small forward Kawhi Leonard will not play against the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday because of a hip injury, according to Josh Lewenberg of TSN.

Leonard has returned to his typical highly productive ways since being traded to the Raptors from the San Antonio Spurs in July following an injury-plagued 2017-18 campaign. He currently ranks ninth in the NBA in player efficiency rating among all qualified players, per ESPN.com.

The 27-year-old Los Angeles native missed all but nine games with the Spurs last season because of a lingering quadriceps injury. He's dealt with minor ankle and hip issues so far this year.

If the latest ailment keeps him sidelined, Fred VanVleet should be in a more prominent role as Toronto utilizes a more guard-oriented approach. It should also lead to more playing time for OG Anunoby and C.J. Miles in situations where the team wants a traditional 3 on the floor.

Ultimately, the Raptors took a chance by breaking up their core in order to add Leonard, who can become an unrestricted free agent at season's end. The gamble has paid off so far, but any type of long-term absence would be a major blow to the squad.

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