One of the biggest casualties caused by the lockout has been the lack of organized summer work for young Spurs players like top draft pick Kawhi Leonard.
In previous years, Leonard likely would have been headed to the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas for work against other similar players. It’s the same league where the Spurs learned about Gary Neal’s talents and have traditionally shuttled their top rookies for some early evaluation before their first training camp.
But the lockout canceled plans for that league this summer, much to the consternation of young players and NBA beat writers alike.
But Leonard might get another chance. Impact Basketball, one of the top basketball training sites in the world, will launch their own league in September stocked with NBA-level players.
Hoopsworld.com reports that a have used the facility in the past, including current NBA stars like Chauncey Billups, John Wall, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Rudy Gay, Baron Davis and Rajon Rondo.
No current Spurs veterans are on the list, but Leonard was among the rookies who trained at the facility before the NBA Draft.
Joe Abunassar, the founder and head trainer of Impact Basketball, told Hoopsworld.com that the league will kick off in mid-September, likely during the week following Labor Day. Two games will be played each day and the league is expected to last at least two weeks long. There is also a chance that the games will be streamed online.
Getting the opportunity to play with other top pros would be invaluable for Leonard as he prepares for the start of his rookie season.
While Leonard can’t be sure exactly when the lockout will end, participating in an activity like this would help him provide an immediate impact to the Spurs when he arrives.