Kawhi Leonard
Kawhi Leonard, a San Diego State alum, had an off-season to watch. Now he preparing for the new NBA season. Photo credit: @SNFaizalKhamisa, via Twitter.

Not surprisingly, Kawhi Leonard remains one of the most buzzed about players in the NBA.

ESPN ranked the San Diego State University alum as the league’s second-best player, behind only Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks.

One ESPN expert said he wouldn’t place the new Los Angeles Clipper “in my top three for regular-season value, but come postseason he’s my No. 1 choice.”

Leonard, known for being press shy, spoke to the media Sunday in his debut Media Day with his new team. He even expressed interest in playing for the U.S. in the 2020 Olympic Games, though he stressed the Clippers are his priority.

“Every year I come in and I want to win, I want to make history this year, but it’s always have fun, play hard, play the season out and let the results be what they are. That’s all you can do,” he told Yahoo Sports on the eve of leaving for Hawaii for training camp.

The former Aztec departed the Toronto Raptors in July after leading the team to NBA’s first championship outside the U.S. He earned Finals MVP honors in the 4-2 series win over the Golden State Warriors.

Before he chose the Clippers, there was a heated contest for his services. Leonard, though, appeared to be captain of his own fate. He actively recruiting former Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George to join him in L.A.

Leonard is a Southern California native with ties to Riverside County. He attended San Diego State from 2009-11, earning trips to the NCAA Tournament each year.

– Staff reports