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#pounditSaturday, July 20, 2024

Team USA chooses replacement for Kawhi Leonard

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A reigning NBA champion is replacing Kawhi Leonard on the Team USA Olympic roster.

Kawhi Leonard, who has battled knee injuries for years, withdrew from Team USA on Wednesday to instead focus on the upcoming NBA season. According to ESPN’s Marc J. Spears, Boston Celtics guard Derrick White is taking Leonard’s place.

White became a full-time starter for the Celtics this season after the team traded Marcus Smart, and he had a breakout season. He averaged 15.2 points per game during the regular season and played even better during Boston’s championship run. White had 16.7 points and 4.1 assists per game in the playoffs and shot 40.4% from three-point range.

The Celtics showed how much they value White by signing the 30-year-old to a massive contract extension this offseason.

In addition to possessing clutch shot-making ability, White is also a great defender. He was named to the NBA All-Defensive Second Team the past two seasons.

Two of White’s teammates, Celtics stars Jayson Tatum and Jrue Holiday, are currently part of Team USA’s 12-man roster as well.

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