JULY 16TH, 4:05pm: The deal is official, the Spurs announced in a press release.
JULY 1ST, 4:00pm: The deal includes a player option for the fifth year, Zach Lowe of Grantland reports (on Twitter).
JUNE 30TH, 11:13pm: The Spurs will re-sign Kawhi Leonard for five years and an estimated $90MM, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. The sides have agreed to a framework of a deal, as Wojnarowski details.
“I have every intention of signing with the San Antonio Spurs,” Leonard said in a statement, as Wojnarowski passes along. “There are details in the contract which need to be worked out with the organization. I am confident that this will be accomplished.”
The deal was agreed to just minutes after midnight on the East Coast, but the two sides still have to iron out some specifics over the next several days. The language in the statement (“every intention”) and the report (“agreed to the framework”) could be an inference to suggest that the Spurs will take their time in finalizing the pact. By waiting, the Spurs could avoid getting charged with max cap hit so that Leonard’s cap hold stays low, thereby preserving cap room for other free agents.
Leonard, 24, averaged 16.5 points, 7.2 rebounds and 2.5 assists last season. While Tim Duncan and Tony Parker were the anchors for many elite Spurs outfits, Leonard can be expected to be the cornerstone of future contending teams. Leonard’s resume includes the 2014 Finals MVP and this past season’s Defensive Player of the Year award.
Back in April, it was reported that Leonard was unlikely to pursue offer sheets, even though he had the ability to as a restricted free agent.