Per Shams Charania of the Athletic, Kawhi Leonard and the Clippers are “working towards a minicamp, potentially in Miami, before the start of training camp”. (Check the 55 second mark of the video embedded below.)
This is important for two reasons. First, and perhaps foremost, it’s a sign that Kawhi is already taking a leadership role on the Clippers’ roster. Kawhi has not necessarily been known as a vocal presence, but that could change as he gets older and more comfortable being the undisputed best player on a team. Leadership does not have to come from that “alpha” player, but it can often be useful that way, and it’s cool that Kawhi feels the desire to make a training camp happen.
Second, the Clippers are obviously integrating two superstars into their rotation in Leonard and Paul George. While they are players who are quite adaptable in terms of their games, it still takes time for such a big transition to take place. A minicamp before training camp will allow players to get adjusted to each other’s games and personalities before the season really gets started. It should give the Clippers a leg up in terms of chemistry on the court and off heading into the season, which will be extremely valuable for a team that wants to get a high seed for a deep postseason.
It remains to be seen whether this training camp will happen, and if it does, when or where. But even the idea of it is promising, and the fact that it’s Kawhi organizing it and not an established Clipper like Pat Beverley or Lou Williams is even better.