DECEMBER 22, 2:05pm: Kennard’s extension includes a team option for the fourth year, reports Michael Scotto of HoopsHype (Twitter link).
DECEMBER 21, 5:13pm: The Clippers have officially announced Kennard’s new contract extension.
“We are excited to secure a commitment from a dynamic, emerging young player who continues to grow every day,” Clippers president of basketball operations Lawrence Frank said in a statement. “We have been impressed with Luke’s versatility and maturity, and it’s been a privilege to get to know him better during this training camp. We believe he is a fantastic fit for our organization and we are delighted he feels the same.”
DECEMBER 21, 3:22pm: The Clippers and guard Luke Kennard have reached an agreement on a four-year, $64MM rookie scale contract extension, agents Aaron Mintz and Dave Spahn tell Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link).
The deal includes $56MM in guaranteed money, plus $8MM in additional bonuses that are considered attainable, tweets Andrew Greif of The Los Angeles Times.
It’s an impressive number for Kennard, who missed much of the 2019/20 season due to knee issues. He played well when healthy, averaging 15.8 PPG, 4.1 APG, and 3.5 RPG with a .442/.399/.893 shooting line in 28 games (32.9 MPG).
The Pistons’ new front office sent Kennard to Los Angeles in a three-team offseason trade that saw Saddiq Bey and Rodney McGruder land in Detroit. The 24-year-old’s asking price on an extension – along with his injury history and the team’s change in direction – played a part in Detroit’s decision to move him, tweets James L. Edwards III of The Athletic.
The Clippers’ investment in Kennard suggests his new club has confidence that his knee problems are behind him. If he earns the full $16MM per year on his new deal, that would put Kennard in the same neighborhood of recent free agent signees like Davis Bertans ($16MM per year), Marcus Morris ($16MM), and Malik Beasley ($15MM).
New contracts for Morris, Paul George, and now Kennard have pushed the Clippers well over the projected cap and likely into luxury tax territory for the 2021/22 season, notes ESPN’s Bobby Marks (via Twitter).
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.