Kawhi Leonard Now Officially Extension-Eligible

The possibility of a Kawhi Leonard contract extension with the Spurs has been a subject of discussion for much of the year, but Leonard wasn’t officially eligible to sign a new deal until today.

A veteran NBA player who signs a five-year contract becomes eligible to have that contract extended three years after it was signed. Leonard inked his current five-year deal with the Spurs on July 16, 2015, meaning today is the three-year anniversary of that signing.

Because he was named to one of the league’s All-NBA teams in both 2016 and 2017, Leonard is eligible for a Designated Veteran Extension, which means he could earn a starting salary worth up to 35% of the cap – rather than just 30% – on a new deal with the Spurs.

We won’t know exactly what such an extension would be worth until the 2019/20 salary cap is finalized. However, a five-year 35% max contract starting in ’19/20 based on the NBA’s current $109MM cap projection would have a starting salary of $38.15MM and an overall value of $221.27MM, including a fifth-year salary of $50.358MM.

The terms of a potential Leonard extension may ultimately be irrelevant though, since the star forward has shown no interest in staying in San Antonio long term. The Spurs likely won’t be willing to put that $221MM+ offer on the table anyway, since Leonard is coming off an injury-plagued 2017/18 campaign in which he appeared in just nine games. He wouldn’t be able to get the same deal with any other team.

Since the NBA introduced the Designated Veteran Extension in its most recent Collective Bargaining Agreement, the only players to sign such a deal are Stephen Curry, James Harden, Russell Westbrook, and John Wall.

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36 thoughts on “Kawhi Leonard Now Officially Extension-Eligible

  1. thegutsscrambler

    Kawhi needs new representation, they’re gone by everything all wrong and have been detrimental to his cause of leaving the team.

  2. driftcat28

    $50 Mil and a chance to have Pop as HC. This dude doesn’t know how good he has it

    • Dodgethis

      Pop was a top coach, is no longer. He also lucked out and had humble, classy players leading his team for his entire tenure. People think pop is some great coach because he used to show up reporters, now he just whines and embarrasses himself and his team.

    • east333

      You much be enjoying the Mets stellar season too much to be paying attention to nba news. There’s rumors going around on here and bleacher report that he won’t even suit up for games next season if he’s not traded. He wants out. He’s gone.

      • He can’t sit out. If he tries he won’t be eligible for free agency next summer. Luke, when are you going to have a poll of when Kawhi gets traded: before training camp, early season (after gm’s have seen him play), when the Laker’s need him, trade deadline, not at all. Magic should have learned from Paul George last season. If he doesn’t include Ingram, he won’t get a trade.

        • east333

          Not sure why he can’t just sit out. The team doctors said he was ready to go last season and he still didn’t play since he didn’t feel like he could. His own reps have said he’ll sit out so I’m gonna take their word over yours lmao

          • Sorry dude. This came from the NBA, but you are entitled to believe what you want.

            • I’ve been doing my homework. It was reported by NBC Sports. Since when did you start working for the NBA Players Union? Article says if player intentionally violates his contract, he may be fined, and could lose the free agency. They are experts, you are not!! Also says if Kawhi were to sit out, other teams likely wouldn’t be interested. Bottom line. Kawhi is under contract with the Spurs for 1 more season. It’s up to the Spurs, not the Lakers to what happens to Kawhi until then. The Lakers fans are so short minded. It’s only been since last summer they went through this with Paul George. What happened there?

            • You need to read the entire contract, not just page 15 and 16. I know about contracts. It takes attorneys who know the contract inside out, and know the loopholes. It takes someone who has passed the Legal Bar Exam, and I’m guessing you have not.

              • east333

                The NBA isn’t about to let a star player lose out on making the Lakers title contenders again. When they win, the whole league makes money. He might lose his salary next season but he’s not a slave. He’s not going to lose his chance to go where he wants. For God sake, players coming out of the draft even get a say on what teams take them.

  3. cesc

    If you see the only 4 players to get a DVE, not sure kawhi is on their league, well maybe Wall, but the other 3 are truly superstars, maybe this is another reason apart of his career long health issues, that San Antonio might not be to keen to bet their future on him.

    • gronk

      Wait what? That’s why San Antonio “might not be too keen to bet their future on him”? That’s why? I can think of another reason why they may not want to “bet their future on him”.

  4. Z-A

    From every perspective passing on this, hes a bleeping moron. You’re playing basketball for 50M. This is why fans think some of these guys deserve nothing.

    • hiflew

      He would be a moron if his salary with the Lakers (or wherever) was $0, but it’s not. The difference between the 5th year on this extension and the 1st year on the one after that is probably not going to be that much unless his game completely falls off. Even if it turns out to be “only” $40 million or so, it wouldn’t really matter. The difference between $40,000 and $50,000 is HUGE lifestyle wise. The difference $40 million and $50 million is practically nothing lifestyle wise. It’s not like he is going to blow $40 million in a year. And if he does, he’d just blow $50 million too.

      • padam

        The difference between the 5th year and first year is guaranteed money. If he has a career threatening injury in the contract, he’ll get that $50M. First year of that other contract – probably not.

        • hiflew

          And if he doesn’t have a career threatening injury, then it is negligible. That’s why they have insurance. Players can easily insure themselves against injuries. People talk about career ending injuries as if they are commonplace. They happen to maybe 2-3 players a year or less than 1% of NBA players. It’s not like they are guaranteed to happen by any means.

      • east333

        Omg. You’re comparing a player who will make more from Nike lifetime against Kawhi? Get outta here lol Kawhi will turn down $50 mil after four years in San Antonia and will take the 3 years with the fourth being worth about $41.5 mil in a heartbeat.

        • Dodgethis

          People said the same thing about Durant taking less from the warriors right after signing a 300 million dollar shoe deal…

  5. It’s about turning down the hometown bonus, not about comparing LeBron and Kawhi. I live in a Cleveland suburb. I’m like the over 2000 Cleveland fans who commented to the Plain Dealer that are glad LeBron is gone. For Kawhi, Cris Carter has an inside with Kawhi’s group. I’ll listen to him. You don’t have to.

      • Ok! Tell me when and where Kawhi will be traded if you are so bright. And I want to hear what Pop would do, not what you would do? I’m reading what the experts are saying. Yahoo, Sports Ilustrated, Sporting News, and ESPN have reported Carter has been giving out information from Kawhi’s agent. Where do you get your information from? Just the facts dude!

        • What the 2000 comments said was Cav fans are tired of the drama, and LeBron is the drama king. The first thing Cleveland did was take down a 6 story mural of LeBron hanging from a downtown building.

          • LeBron fits in with the Lakers. Like Jerry West and Elgin Baylor, LeBron is better at losing championships than winning them. Only way he beats the Warriors is if Steph, Klay, and KD split up. I don’t see that happening while LeBron is still playing.

  6. suburbanwarren

    Kawhi is unique, has a 120 millions contract drive a used car, not materialistic. Love his father who was murdered at his car wash know doubt love the Lakers and clippers. From LA has a close relationship with his deceased father. He feels if his father was alive would be very proud of his son in Lakers or clippers uniforms. Any team that sign him other than the Lakers or Clippers will be wasting valuable assets. It is a Spiritual thing with Kawhi. My son was murdered in 1993 and it seem like yesterday! I heard that Kawhi text Lebron to join forces in LA. From what I saw in summer league LA have the pieces to Challenge the Warriors now! If and when they get Kawhi it is another dynasty in LA. I am a CAVs fan and I like Lebron. When he moved from the Heat to CAVs they had Kyrie and a few others. The Lakers are very deep in talents. They can wait on Kawhi but they can win now! That’s my take what is your view point?

    • x%sure

      It’s a deep mix but an odd mix that has to sift out. There’s no real pressure to win a title next year. They’re going to want to get Josh Hart on the court, I predict he will play some PG.

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