Kawhi Leonard agrees to 4-year, $176.3 million deal with Clippers
After months of waiting to find out what he’ll do, the wait is officially over. Kawhi Leonard and the LA Clippers agreed to a four-year deal, the team announced Thursday afternoon. Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports was first to report the news.
Leonard, who opted out of the final year of his previous deal, agreed to a $176.3 million deal to be paid out over those four years. The two-time NBA Finals MVP could’ve signed a two-year deal with a player option for next season, which would’ve given him the opportunity to sign the largest contract in NBA history at five years, $235 million.
In signing this four-year deal, Leonard shows his commitment to the Clippers organization.
“Kawhi is a transcendent player and a relentless worker who improves himself every day,” President of Basketball Operations Lawrence Frank said in the release. “We share many of the same goals, which include a long-term relationship. This agreement marks another important moment for our franchise and our fans, as we strive to create a championship-caliber organization, where players find the success and fulfillment they seek.
“We’re eager to continue building with Kawhi. For now, we will do whatever we can to support him in his recovery from injury. We look forward to seeing him back where he wants to be, on the court with his teammates.”
Leonard is expected to miss a significant chunk of the 2021-22 season as he recovers from surgery on his partially torn right ACL. The surgery, which he underwent in July, was successful, but Kawhi was given no timetable to return.
By signing a four-year deal, which reportedly has an opt-out for the final year, Leonard ties himself with Paul George and the Clippers organization through the 2023-24 season.
Kawhi Leonard averaged 24.8 points, 6.5 rebounds, 5.2 assists, and 1.6 steals per game on 51 percent shooting for the Clippers last season. He elevated his game even further in the postseason, averaging 30.4 points, 7.7 rebounds, 4.4 assists, and 2.1 steals per game while shooting a blistering 57.3 percent from the field and 39.3 percent from 3.