Kawhi Leonard, Clippers Reportedly Organizing Team Minicamp in Miami

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistAugust 7, 2019

LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 24: (L-R) Head coach Doc Rivers, Paul George, Kawhi Leonard and owner Steve Ballmer of the Los Angeles Clippers attend the Paul George and Kawhi Leonard introductory press conference at Green Meadows Recreation Center on July 24, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Kawhi Leonard and the Los Angeles Clippers are reportedly planning to follow the lead of LeBron James and the rival Los Angeles Lakers by holding a team minicamp in Miami before training camp.

Shams Charania of Stadium provided the update Wednesday:

Stadium @Stadium

Our NBA Insider @ShamsCharania reports on LeBron James starting to organize a Lakers team minicamp, and the premium on team chemistry around the league. https://t.co/jmGsoCptWB

The NBA offseason was highlighted by a series of blockbuster moves, including Anthony Davis being traded to the Lakers from the New Orleans Pelicans. Leonard signed with the Clippers in a move that was made in coordination with their acquisition of Paul George from the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Getting everybody up to full speed before the regular season will be paramount, especially in the loaded Western Conference.

The Clippers are in a unique situation because they've added two of the NBA's best all-around players to a team that went 48-34 and qualified for the playoffs. 

So not only will they be trying to get Leonard and George on the same page, but players like Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell, who took on leading roles last year, must adapt to becoming more of complementary players.

In addition, the rise of load management—resting players for regular-season games even if they aren't dealing with an injury—is another factor that plays into the need of building team chemistry as quickly as possible.

Leonard credited his time off last season for playing a significant role in helping lead the Toronto Raptors to the 2019 NBA championship. He played 60 of a possible 82 games in the regular season after playing nine in the previous season due to injuries.

"It was big," he told ESPN's Rachel Nichols. "When it got bad, we ended up taking, you know, four or five games off. And, you know, if we didn't do that, I wouldn't be here right now. The way we laid out the schedule was good. I'm happy."

Since it's unlikely the Clippers will want to rest Leonard and George in the same games, it's possible there are 10 contests during the regular season that one of them isn't available. That's nearly one-eighth of the campaign. George has played at least 75 games in each of the last four seasons. 

So a little minicamp to ramp up the team-building efforts should help the cause for both the L.A. teams as they face championship expectations heading into the 2019-20 season.