Kawhi Leonard Will Make Team USA in 2016

By George Middleton
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Apr 30, 2015; San Antonio, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs small forward

Kawhi Leonard

(2) shoots the ball against the Los Angeles Clippers in game six of the first round of the NBA Playoffs at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Team USA is currently preparing for the 2016 Olympics that take place in Rio de Janeiro. The team is currently in the midst of practices and team showdowns. On August 13, the team took part in a nationally televised 2015 USA Basketball Showcase.

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The White team beat the Blue team 134-128. DeMarcus Cousins led the White team with 24 points and 11 rebounds. Mason Plumlee added 20 points and 11 rebounds for the White team.

Andre Drummond led the Blue team with 27 points and 16 rebounds, Victor Oladipo added 25 points.

The whole world knows that LeBron James, Chris Paul, Carmelo Anthony, James Harden, Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Anthony Davis, and Stephen Curry are basically locks to make the team. Blake Griffin and DeMarcus Cousins will also have a great shot at making the team. Kobe Bryant will be selected if he decides to play as well.

This leaves a few open spots. Klay Thompson, Andre Drummond, Jimmy Butler, Derrick Rose, Kyrie Irving, Damian Lillard, Kawhi Leonard, and DeMar DeRozan will be fighting for some of those spots.

Why does Leonard have a good shot at making the team?

Leonard is the best defensive player in the league, if you don’t believe it, his Defensive Player of the Year award does the talking. Leonard led the league in steals averaging 2.3 per game. In international play he can easily defend 2-3 positions.

Defense isn’t the only thing Leonard will bring to the table. Unlike most players that will be on the team, Leonard doesn’t need plays drawn up for him to score. The Spurs didn’t even draw up plays for Leonard in most games. Leonard is terrific at cutting for open layups and hitting open shots. He is also an improving player in iso situations, which will only help his chances.

One more thing, Leonard is only 24-years old, which means he will be around for quite some time. Team USA can use a guy with not only tremendous skill, but with good character. Leonard is that guy.

Next: Soft Opening to Spurs Schedule Should Help Revamped Roster Adjust

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