Kawhi Leonard left $118 million on the table by refusing supermax with Spurs, could make $196 million in 2021
If there is one thing clear about Kawhi Leonard as a player — he’s not playing for the money.
The star forward recently inked a three-year, $103 million deal with the L.A. Clippers with a player option on his third year, forgoing a whopping $118 million more he could have made by re-signing with the San Antonio Spurs, had he remained with the team up to this point.
ESPN Insider Bobby Marks broke down how Leonard went from being capable of signing a five-year, $221 million supermax deal to then turning down a potential $190 million with the Toronto Raptors, to eventually passing on a four-year max with the Clippers, who he chose in free agency.
Re: Kawhi Leonard contract
The most he could earn with LAC in 2021 (if he does not opt-in) is 4/$196M
Because of early bird rights- Leonard is not eligible to sign a 5/$253M contract.
$221M (SAS) to $190M (TOR) to $141M (LAC) to now $103M (LAC)- has left $118M on the table.
— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) July 10, 2019
Leonard did more than cut his paycheck in half here, but he stands to ink a sizable four-year, $196 million deal with the Clippers if he chooses to opt out of the last year of his contract in 2021.
The Klaw chose to go for the more flexible two-plus-one deal, which will allow him to potentially opt out of his contract at the same time as his partner-to-be Paul George, if things go according to plan.
Leonard and George could choose to re-sign together for the max, or for a little less to allow the Clippers to put valuable pieces around them. Or they could choose to bolt together if the team hasn’t performed up to their championship-level expectations.
One thing is abundantly clear though, Kawhi Leonard won’t be lured by the potential money the Clippers could offer him then, as he’s now passed on the potential to earn more than twice what he will over the next three seasons.