Kawhi Leonard will take part in USA Basketball's mini-camp, according to SAEN's Mike Monroe.
Leonard was part of the select squad -- along with then teammate DeJuan Blair -- that trained with the London Olympics team in 2012. He declined to participate the last two summers but will now have a chance to earn a spot in the 12-man roster that will compete in the Rio Olympics.
The U.S. has already qualified for the competition by virtue of winning the FIBA World Cup, so it won't send a team to the 2015 FIBA Americas. A lot of top level players will still join the camp this year, hoping to make the final cut in 2016. Blake Griffin, James Harden and Carmelo Anthony will reportedly participate while injured players like Kevin Durant, Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving will visit the camp in Las Vegas.
It's unlikely Leonard makes the cut if all the other stars make themselves eligible. The U.S. has LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Carmelo Anthony at the forward slots and most shooting guards can slide up to small forward in FIBA competition to make room for dual point guard lineups. There's still a chance he is selected to serve as the team's stopper, a role that Andre Iguodala played in the past, but we won't know until next year.
There are two ways to think about this. The first involves freaking out about injuries, despite the fact that Jerry Colangelo characterized the activities as "light workouts, no contact and then play an All-Star game." After Paul George's freak injury, it's understandable to be concerned but the chances that Leonard gets hurt in that environment are likely lower than if he were hooping elsewhere.
The other is to be proud that Kawhi is among the players that are being considered for a roster spot. I'm going with the latter approach but I can understand why some might be nervous.
Youssou Ndoye will attend training camp
In other news, Former St. Bonaventure center and member of San Antonio's Summer League squad Youssou Ndoye has signed a training camp deal with the Spurs, according to Yahoo Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski. He's expected to be one of the last cuts and be allocated to Austin.
Ndoye didn't have eye-popping numbers in the Summer Spurs' championship run, averaging three points and two rebounds on just nine minutes per game off the bench. He did show great touch around the basket in his limited time on the court and was key in providing the defensive energy the team was lacking in the game against the Summer Hawks. He's also seven feet tall and mobile enough to play organized basketball, and that's enough to make him an intriguing prospect.
Ndoye will likely spend a few season in the D-League before he even becomes a viable NBA big man, if it happens at all. It's still a good idea to target young players with good physical profiles and develop them while keeping and eye on them, so the signing makes sense.