And-Ones: White, Leonard, Embiid, Haliburton, 2024 Free Agency, More

Derrick White is a real contender to replace Kawhi Leonard on Team USA for this year’s Paris Olympics if Leonard is unable to suit up, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter video link via Clutch Points’ Tomer Azarly).

White’s emerged as one of the league’s best defensive players over the past few seasons and he’s been a large part of Boston’s championship aspirations. This season, White averaged 15.2 points, 5.2 assists, 1.2 blocks and 1.0 steal per game in the regular season while being named to the All-Defensive Second Team. Through 18 playoff games, White is averaging 16.9 PPG.

Leonard was named to the 12-man Olympic roster but battled through knee inflammation toward the end of this season, which kept him out of the Clippers’ final three playoff games. When healthy, Leonard averaged 23.7 points and 6.1 rebounds in 68 games for the Clippers this season.

We have more from around the basketball world:

  • Sixers superstar center Joel Embiid was hobbled through the playoffs and missed more than half the regular season but he’s still on track to suit up for Team USA starting next month, according to ESPN. “I’m doing great. Just getting ready for the Olympics,” Embiid said on ABC on Friday night. “It’s going to be big for me because I’ve been dreaming about it since I was a kid.” Embiid chose to play for the United States over France and Cameroon.
  • Like Embiid, Pacers star guard Tyrese Haliburton expects to be healthy by the time he suits up for the U.S., according to IndyStar’s Dustin Dopirak. “The hamstring is good,” Haliburton said. “… Today I ran for the first time full speed. I got another three weeks before USA. I feel good. I’m really excited to get out there and do that.” Haliburton missed 10 games in January with his hamstring injury, then re-injured it during the Eastern Conference finals.
  • The NBA offseason has begun for 28 teams, and with no more than three games left in the season, we’re starting to have a clearer idea of what decisions teams will be making this summer. Bobby Marks of ESPN (ESPN+ link) breaks down some of these key decisions and potential contract details in a 2024 free agency/offseason primer. Some of the most important decisions impacting the course of the offseason include what the Hawks do at No. 1 overall in the draft, whether or not Donovan Mitchell extends with the Cavaliers and what LeBron James‘ next contract looks like.
  • Several teams are flush with cap space this offseason, including the Sixers — a team with two stars under contract that now has ample spending power. In an article predicting the biggest moves of the 2024 offseason, Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report speculates that Philadelphia winds up signing Paul George to a max contract. In addition, Pincus predicts Klay Thompson, Malik Monk and Tobias Harris head to Orlando and Isaiah Hartenstein signs with Oklahoma City.
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