Monday, July 22, 2024

Derrick White joins Team USA as Kawhi’s replacement for 2024 Olympics

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The Boston Celtics duo on the USA Basketball squad competing in the 2024 Paris Olympics will become a trio.

Celtics guard Derrick White has replaced Kawhi Leonard on Team USA’s Olympic roster after Leonard withdrew from the team, USA Basketball confirmed Wednesday. Andscape’s Marc J. Spears was the first to report that White would be Leonard’s replacement.

Leonard’s withdrawal appears to be injury-related, as USA Basketball announced in a statement that the Los Angeles Clippers determined it was in Leonard’s best interest not to compete in the Olympics.

White’s addition to Team USA means he’ll join Celtics teammates Jayson Tatum and Jrue Holiday on the 12-man squad headed to Paris later this month. It also means a reunion of the “Stock Exchange” on Team USA: Holiday and White were ferocious defenders for Boston during its 2024 championship run and both were named to the NBA’s All-Defensive Second Team.

White replacing Leonard may surprise some considering he wasn’t an All-Star this season and averaged *only* 15.2 points per game. But those who watched the 30-year-old play know that White is one of the NBA’s most well-rounded guards who became the only player in Celtics history outside Larry Bird to average at least 15 points, five assists, one block and one steal per game in 2023-24.

White also is an exceptional teammate whose ego-free playing style is a great fit on the star-laden USA squad. He has experience playing at the international level, as well; the Colorado native played for Team USA at the 2019 FIBA World Cup and was a finalist to make the 2020 Olympic roster.

Team USA kicks off its exhibition schedule Wednesday night in Las Vegas with a game against Canada that tips off at 10:30 p.m. ET.

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