L.A. Notes: Leonard, George, Davis, West, LeBron

Clippers superstars Kawhi Leonard and Paul George hope to play for Team USA in the Olympics next summer, both players declared at the team’s Media Day on Sunday.

“I would love to. Hopefully, God willing, I can get through a season healthy,” George said, according to USA Today’s Mark Medina (Twitter link). “When that times comes, I’d love to be a part of the Olympics and represent. But this comes first obviously and getting through this year.”

Leonard, who’s coming off a historic championship run that saw him average 30.5 points per game in the playoffs with Toronto, shared the same sentiment as his new teammate.

“I do want to play. But I’m taking it one step at a time,” Leonard said, as relayed by Medina (Twitter link). “Right now, it’s about taking the Clippers to the Finals.”

Leonard and George join several superstars who have already expressed interest in playing for Team USA after a disappointing run in the FIBA World Cup, including Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and Anthony Davis.

There’s more out of Los Angeles tonight:

  • The Lakers are doing their best to keep Anthony Davis from breaking their hearts by leaving next summer in free agency, Bill Oram of The Athletic writes. Davis, who holds a $28.7MM player option for the 2020/21 season, will almost certainly opt out and seek a maximum salary contract. “I just want to focus on this year,” Davis said. “Coming here, the Lakers definitely welcomed me with open arms and made me feel like this was home, but at the same time, it’s about what we can do this year. We have a special team, special unit, special coaching staff, and we’re going to do whatever we can to focus on this year and try to come out victorious.”
  • Ryan West, son of Hall-of-Famer and current Clippers advisor Jerry West, will work with the franchise in a scouting role this season, according to Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times. West recently left the Lakers after spending a decade with the organization, also holding eight years of prior scouting experience with Grizzlies.
  • LeBron James appears to be more engaging with his second stint on the Lakers right around the corner, Bill Plaschke of the Los Angeles Times writes. James, who turns 35 in December, is entering his 17th NBA season. “I’m very motivated, but I’m right now not in the talking-about-it mode,” James said. “I’ve been very quiet this summer for a reason. My mother always told me, don’t talk about it, be about it, so that’s where I’m at.”
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