When asked whether Leonard will be seen playing in Hawaii, where the Clippers will hold training camp this week while playing preseason games against the Houston Rockets and the Shanghai Sharks, the coach likened treating Leonard to how an NFL team typically protects its starting quarterback in the preseason.
"Yeah, if you're at a practice, I'll answer it that way," Rivers said when asked if Leonard will play in Hawaii. "I'll let you figure it out from there."
Leonard said on Sunday that his health and playing time will be managed differently from last season with the Toronto Raptors, when heplayed in 60 regular-season games. The star forward said he's feeling much better than he did last season, when he entered camp coming off a quad injury.
Meanwhile, Paul George, who is coming back from surgeries on both shoulders, did everything but work in five-on-five contact drills, according to Rivers. Rivers said George shot the ball well and actually dunked a couple of times, even though he shouldn't be.
George previously told ESPN's Ramona Shelburne that he hopes to return sometime in November and that he likely won't play in the preseason.
"He did everything other than live," Rivers said of George. "He looks great. ... When you watch him, you would never know that he was injured. That's how good he looks. He shoots, he's dunking, which they told me he couldn't do and he did it two or three times. ... but he knows he can [dunk]. He's shooting it. You can tell all the strength is back.
"We can live with the dunks. What we can't live with is him playing, trying to sneak into action, which he clearly was trying."
Ogwumike: Kawhi, PG-13 the best two-way duo in the NBA
Chiney Ogwumike, Jorge Sedano and Kevin Arnovitz debate whether Kawhi Leonard and Paul George are the best overall duo in the NBA.