AUGUST 12: Leonard has officially signed a four-year, maximum-salary contract that includes a player option in the final year, according to Haynes. The Clippers have issued a press release announcing the deal.
As our maximum-salary chart shows, the four-year contract will be worth about $176.3MM, as follows:
- 2021/22: $39,344,900
- 2022/23: $42,492,492
- 2023/24: $45,640,084
- 2024/25: $48,787,676 (player option)
As noted below, because Leonard only had Early Bird rights, he couldn’t sign a five-year deal, so this is the longest and largest contract he could have received this offseason.
“Kawhi is a transcendent player and a relentless worker who improves himself every day,” Clippers president of basketball operations Lawrence Frank said in a statement. “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 teammates.”
AUGUST 6: Free agent forward Kawhi Leonard won’t be making a surprise departure from Los Angeles this summer, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, who reports (via Twitter) that the two-time NBA Finals MVP has decided to re-sign with the Clippers.
While Leonard will be signing a new contract with Los Angeles, the exact terms of that deal are still being discussed, says Haynes.
Leonard turned down a $36MM player option on Sunday in order to reach free agency, since he’s now eligible for a slightly higher maximum salary ($39.34MM). It seems safe to assume his new contract will be worth the max, so the two sides are likely weighing how many years it’ll cover.
The Clippers hold the superstar’s Early Bird rights, allowing for a contract of up to four years and $176MM. If he were to sign a one-plus-one deal with a second-year player option, Kawhi could make $39MM+ this season, then opt out to sign another new contract in 2022, when he has full Bird rights and could get up to five years from the Clips. Based on the NBA’s latest salary cap projection, a five-year deal at that point would be worth over $241MM.
Leonard, 30, had another All-Star season for the Clippers in 2020/21, averaging 24.8 PPG, 6.5 RPG, and a career-high 5.2 APG on .512/.398/.885 shooting in 52 games (34.1 MPG). Despite missing 20 regular season games, he earned a spot on the All-NBA First Team.
However, after leading the Clippers to a first-round series win over Dallas and helping them pull to even in the second round vs. Utah, Leonard suffered a knee injury that ended his season and puts his availability for 2021/22 in doubt. He recently underwent surgery to repair a partial tear of his right ACL and has no set timetable for a return. The expectation is that he’ll miss most – or even all – of next season.
Leonard’s free agency, then, is reminiscent of when Kevin Durant hit the market shortly after tearing his Achilles in 2019 and received a four-year, maximum-salary commitment from the Nets. Brooklyn was confident that Durant would make a full recovery and the investment would pay off.
The Clippers appear to be of the same mindset with Leonard, as president of basketball operations Lawrence Frank said last week that Kawhi’s ACL recovery will “require a great deal of time and we want to support him in that.”
Of course, while Durant chose a new team following his Achilles tear, there was never an expectation Kawhi would leave Los Angeles, despite one report suggesting he was open to hearing pitches from other teams. Leonard chose the Clippers over rival suitors during his last free agency in 2019 and remains committed to the franchise going forward.
33 thoughts on “Kawhi Leonard Re-Signs With Clippers On Four-Year Deal”
Makes sense he’s at home , and even on the likely occasion he wins no titles with clippers he’s on the rare list of guys with multiple finals mvp titles when he hangs then up ! Hopefully not that soon
That’s disappointing to all Mavs fans. When will good veteran players take the minimum to play with Luka instead of LBJ. Do players hate the city of Dallas or Cuban?
Could be two things. #1 it’s tough to compete with an LA or New York, Dallas is nice but it’s a notch below Prime Time.
My 2nd thought is that Luka Doncic wants the ball in his hands 90% of the time. He decides who shoots, he decides where the ball goes, and he decides what’s going on out there. He’s a do EVERYTHING first point guard, not just “shoot first” point guard. A lot of guys don’t like playing with a guard like that. Even James Harden is unselfish in a way. He meshed with Chris Paul just fine, and the other way around.
I think Luka is a different cat because he’s young and hasn’t figured out he needs to share the ball if he wants another star. He’s the emperor on that squad for the time being and what he says goes. There’s no way Rick Carlisle grabs his parachute and jumps from a team seemingly on the way up unless it’s a difficult situation to partake in. Just my take.
Luka don’t have no help he rather score it himself then pass it to porzingis who not gonna do anything with the ball that’s not ball hogging that’s common sense luka, zion, and all these other young stars not winning no championship no time soon that’s why veterans are going to la, heat, New York
It’s also cuz Porzingis has let fame get to his head sooooo hard and he’s soooo cocky and full of himself. Him bitching about his usage prolly makes the whole team situation even more annoying.
Well said. Difference between LBJ and Luka…LBJ makes those around him better. Or at least he did in his Cavs/Heat days.
Cuz hes white
John Stockton and Steve Nash were white.
Still are, too.
Kawhi doesn’t really fit the description of a vet who’d take the minimum. I’m assuming you just jumbled up your thoughts? or was it sarcasm?
Gotta be careful with sarcasm… It doesn’t aleays take with a reader.
I did like the take mlbnyyfan
Luka is a ball hog, that’s why….
I would have lost a little respect for him had he left. Clips made a huge investment to get George at the request of Leonard. To leave now without seeing things thru would have been a shotty thing to do.
Yes I agree it would be a low ball move. If the organization does everything it can to provide you a winning team you should show loyalty.
its nothing to do with that.
He opted out so he could get more money from them.
It literally has nothing to do with loyalty and leaving them stuck with PG13.
Kawhi cried and literally quit on the team in SA. Left toronto without remorse because he didn’t like living in Canada (thats fine) .. but please don’t call him loyal or chivalrous by any means.
Now Reggie and Kawai are both returning
Run it back
PS What’s up with Boogie?
hes slow, fat and shoots every time he gets the ball.
Other than that hes really good
Yea he offers nothing
Freddy you must be a very angry little guy based on your comments on this post. I bet you think athletes make way too much money
Right or wrong though?
Actually he passes well. But he can disrupt either team.
To me it would show more class just taking the option.
He’s not going to play. Maybe the whole yr. He will still get maxed out next yr. Do he gets 36 mill for not playing. Instead of 39 mill. They can give that money to someone else who really earns it. That’s Why …. That’s class.
Leonard will never be the same player again. His shot arc is flat and his vertical jump will only get shorter. Father time will also get him. He’ll never win a championship again.
Leonard is only 30 he has at least four good years left in him. And he has a mid range game which will help him stay good longer.
Idk about that most superstars cease being superstars around 32 and 33 ! Lebron or cp3 isn’t the norm the norm is more like tmac and Vince and d will who all made their last all star games at age 31!
Also why nets clippers heat and warriors fans shouldn’t laugh at lakers , lakers take the cake but the other 4 teams join them among the top 5 oldest teams with stars that aren’t very young
He might be only 30 but look at all the injuries the guy has had. His body isn’t a normal 30 year olds body.
Too much money for a partime player
By year 3, with his load management clause, he might suit up for 12 games the last 2 years of the deal. Not 12 each year, combined.
Dang. Another future Warrior (according to Marty) that won’t end up on his favorite-est team in the whole wide world.
He’s the most high priced part-time player.
There’s no problem with Load management imo
KL will get the initial scolding’s but in 10 years he will be looked at as a cavalier of sorts as it will be commonplace
Look, we (fans/society) don’t get our cake and eat it too –
When we stop trying to figure out what’s wrong with teams that lose in the Conf Finals every year and instead applaud them is when management will revert back to having their stars log 80 game seasons again / Ain’t happening
It’s all or nothing these days, so front offices , rightfully, are at least lining up their ducks for what’s going to keep them employed in the near future, and that’s the playoffs
He might come back for end of yr and playoffs. That’s what they can hope for. Clippers not winning West without Kawhi. West playoffs should be very competitive this yr. Its good for the fans.