Luke Kennard

Contract Details: Isaac, Fultz, Kennard, White

The terms of Jonathan Isaac‘s four-year extension with the Magic are a little more favorable than initially reported, according to John Hollinger of The Athletic and Bobby Marks of ESPN (Twitter link).

Originally said to be an $80MM deal, Isaac’s new contract actually has a base value of $69.6MM, or $17.4MM per year. It also includes $2.6MM in annual incentives that he’ll receive for each season in which he plays in 70 of 82 games (or the prorated equivalent in a shortened season). So Isaac will earn the full $80MM only if he stays healthy enough to appear in 70 or more games for four consecutive seasons starting in 2021/22.

The Magic further protected themselves by including Exhibit 3 language in the deal, per Hollinger and Marks. While the exact details of that language are unclear, an Exhibit 3 clause allows a team to limit or eliminate a player’s salary protection in the event of a specific injury — presumably, for Isaac, the language will cover any ongoing issues related to his left knee, following this year’s left ACL tear.

Here are a few more details on recently-signed extensions:

  • Markelle Fultz‘s three-year, $50MM extension with the Magic includes guaranteed $16.5MM salaries in each of the first two seasons, according to Hollinger and Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). The $17MM third-year salary is partially guaranteed for just $2MM. Fultz also has $1MM in unlikely annual incentives for winning the Most Improved Player award, says Hollinger.
  • Luke Kennard‘s four-year, $56MM extension with the Clippers includes a fourth-year team option, so only about $41.2MM is fully guaranteed, tweets Smith. However, Kennard can also easily achieve $1.1MM in annual incentives by playing in at least 66 games or logging 1,772 minutes ($620,454) and by playing in the first round of the playoffs ($477,273), reports Hollinger. Kennard’s other annual incentives include $143,182 apiece for making the Conference Finals and NBA Finals, $190,909 for winning a title, and $334,091 for a defensive rating below 105, according to Hollinger.
  • Derrick White‘s four-year extension with the Spurs has a guaranteed base value of $70MM and is structured as an increasing deal with annual 8% raises, tweets Smith. There are $1.25MM per year in incentives, according to Hollinger: $500K for appearing in 70 games, $500K for making 185 three-pointers, and $250K for making an All-Defense team. White has only made 135 career three-pointers in three seasons, including 79 in 2019/20.

Clippers Sign Luke Kennard To Four-Year Extension

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.

Clippers Notes: Kennard, Leonard, West, Kabengele

After a pair of uninspiring games to start the preseason, Luke Kennard promised his Clippers teammates he would become more aggressive, write Mirjam Swanson of The Orange County Register. Kennard delivered on Thursday night, coming off the bench to score 13 points and hit 3-of-4 three-point attempts.

“After our first scrimmage in training camp, I just told him, ‘Be aggressive, be who you are,’” coach Tyronn Lue said. “‘If you’re doing too much, I’ll let you know – and I doubt I would ever say that.’ And I told him, ‘Kawhi (Leonard) and (Paul George), they need that from you. They want that from you. So don’t come here trying to fit in, trying to please guys. Just play your game, and then we’ll make sure we tailor your game around our offensive foundation.’”

Kennard is getting used to competition again after being shut down for more than a year. He was sidelined by knee tendinitis last December with the Pistons, and the league went on hiatus before he could return. The Clippers picked him up in a three-team trade on draft night.

There’s more on the Clippers:

  • Leonard has responded to charges that the team and executive board member Jerry West used improper tactics to lure him to L.A., tweets Andrew Greif of The Los Angeles Times. According to a TMZ report, Johnny Wilkes, who claims to be Leonard’s friend, is suing West for $2.5MM. “That has nothing to do with me swaying my mind to go somewhere,” Leonard said. “I’m from L.A. and I grew up here my whole life and out here people try to find any way to get some money, so he probably won’t be the last. I know a lot of people out here.” TMZ has published a voicemail allegedly left by West.
  • Mfiondu Kabengele remains in the Clippers’ plans for the future, even though the team elected not to take him to Orlando for the restart, Greif writes in a full story. President of basketball operations Lawrence Frank said it was difficult to decide who was brought to the Disney World campus. “We obviously were in a championship and still are in a championship contending mode, and we prioritize performance and medical for the playing group,” Frank explained. “You would have loved to have brought Fi there. Fi has a contagious personality. He stayed engaged throughout. He would jump on Zooms and watch practice. He would talk to his teammates. He talked to the staff. He kind of lived the journey remotely.” 
  • ESPN’s Kevin Arnovitz examines how the Clippers can fix the flaws that caused them to underachieve last season with a second-round exit after adding two All-Stars.

Clippers Notes: Kennard, Batum, Zubac, Ibaka

Luke Kennard and Nicolas Batum, two important offseason additions for the Clippers, haven’t played a regular season NBA game in nearly a year, writes Mirjam Swanson of The Orange County Register. Both players are trying to use the shortened preseason to get ready for opening night, which is just six days away.

The Pistons shut down Kennard last December 21 because of knee tendinitis. He had been hoping to return March 14, but the hiatus kept that from happening. Batum appeared in just 22 games last season, limited by injuries and the Hornets’ preference to give minutes to their younger players.

“The first (preseason) game was kind of weird,” Batum said. “I just wanted to go out there and just be back on the court and just play basketball and do some stuff and be sure I don’t do some crazy mistake. That’s really my goal the first two games, to be back on the court and get through the motion and get my rhythm and the feel for the court.”

There’s more Clippers news to pass along:

  • Ivica Zubac is adjusting to his new role as backup center, notes Andrew Greif of The Los Angeles Times. Zubac is expected to play similar minutes as in the past, but he will be on the court with a different set of teammates. “Zu specifically, he just has to get better with his hands,” said Lou Williams, the leader of the team’s second unit. “That was a conversation we spoke to. I’m a willing passer and he knows that. And so for him to be successful and get a lot of easy looks, we’re gonna have to get better and get on the same page with that. Other than that, I look forward to growing with him.”
  • Kennard and Serge Ibaka are both better fits for the Clippers than the players they replaced, contends John Hollinger of The Athletic. He sees Kennard, who can help run the offense, as a more complete player than Landry Shamet and notes that Ibaka’s ability to space the floor makes him more versatile than Montrezl Harrell. Hollinger opines that Paul George won’t be able to live up to his new four-year, $176MM contract, but thinks it still makes sense for the team, since the focus is on competing for a title in the next two seasons.
  • Reggie Jackson and assistant coach Chauncey Billups both returned to the team after being excused from Sunday’s game due to health and safety protocols, tweets Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN.

Pacific Notes: LeBron, Davis, Fox, Bogdanovic, Clippers

LeBron James‘ decision to sign a contract extension with the Lakers isn’t related to Anthony Davis‘ free agency, sources tell ESPN’s Brian Windhorst. As Windhorst explains, if James hadn’t negotiated an extension and Davis signed a one-plus-one deal in free agency, the two superstars could’ve reached the open market together in 2021 and the Lakers could’ve explored ways to re-sign both players will adding another star.

However, James wasn’t interested in going that route, according to Windhorst, who says the reigning Finals MVP is confident the team will continue to spend and attract top talent. LeBron prioritized his own long-term earnings over helping the Lakers remain as flexible as possible.

Davis, meanwhile, is still mulling how to structure his contract and is making his decision independent of James, writes Windhorst. The star big man is also looking to maximize his future earnings and is researching scenarios and possible cap increases as he considers the best way to do so.

Here’s more from around the Pacific:

  • After signing a maximum-salary extension with the Kings last week, De’Aaron Fox said on Tuesday that he loves playing in Sacramento and wants to help turn the team into a contender, says James Ham of NBC Sports California. “I want to be able to bring wins to this city, bring wins to this franchise,” Fox said. “I’m very happy that we have that commitment and we have that trust in each other. But now, it’s about winning. I think that’s what it’s always been about.”
  • In a separate story for NBC Sports California, Ham writes that the Kings‘ relatively quiet offseason was one factor that motivated Bogdan Bogdanovic to leave Sacramento. “Since (the Kings) didn’t do any moves in the offseason, I was like, ‘OK, I’m ready to leave,'” Bogdanovic told reporters today. “And I was really excited about Atlanta.”
  • Asked about the possibility of signing Paul George and Luke Kennard to extensions, Clippers president of basketball operations Lawrence Frank didn’t offer any info on possible contract talks, but said the team views both players as “long-term Clippers,” according to Andrew Greif of The Los Angeles Times (Twitter link).

Central Notes: Pacers, Hayward, Kennard, Pistons, Bucks, Bulls

In a pair of stories, Scott Agness of Fieldhouse Files and J. Michael of The Indianapolis Star (subscription required) provide a few additional details on the Pacers‘ pursuit of Gordon Hayward in free agency, confirming that the Celtics sought a second starting player in addition to Myles Turner in a potential Hayward sign-and-trade. That lines up with what Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe reported last week.

Agness says that Hayward and his family purchased a home in the Indianapolis area over a year ago and that his wife was excited about the possibility of moving back to Indiana. However, Ainge apparently drove a hard bargain in trade discussions — Michael reports that even an offer of Turner, a first-round pick, and a rotation player (possibly Doug McDermott, as Washburn reported) wasn’t enough to win over the Celtics.

It’s possible that the hard line drawn by Ainge wouldn’t have ultimately mattered — the Hornets‘ offer of four years and $120MM was about $15MM higher than the Pacers were willing to go, according to Agness. That difference certainly may have been enough to lure Hayward to Charlotte even if the Pacers and Celtics had agreed to trade terms.

Still, both Agness’ and Michael’s reports seem to suggest there was a window when the two teams’ inability to work out a sign-and-trade agreement may have been the only thing standing in the way of Hayward going to Indiana. According to Michael, once the Hornets put their $120MM offer on the table, Ainge wanted to go back to the Pacers to negotiate in “good faith,” but Hayward’s agent Mark Bartelstein “pulled the plug” on that as the veteran forward chose Charlotte.

Here’s more from around the Central:

  • It flew under the radar a little since it wasn’t reported as part of the initial agreement, but the Pistons gave up an eye-popping four second-round picks in their deal that sent Luke Kennard to the Clippers and landed them No. 19 pick Saddiq Bey. According to ESPN’s Zach Lowe (Insider link), those four second-rounders “appear to have been in part the cost of Kennard’s past knee issues.” However, Kennard’s camp is confident those issues are behind him, and it seems the Clippers are too, writes Lowe.
  • While the 2020 draft may not be packed with future stars, Pistons general manager Troy Weaver said his club “really liked” this year’s class, which was why the team traded for multiple extra picks. “We liked the players that were in it and we just felt there were quality young men that could help continue to build our program, we were aggressive,” Weaver said, per Rod Beard of The Detroit News. Referring to Bey, Killian Hayes, Isaiah Stewart, and Saben Lee, the Pistons’ GM added, “Hopefully, we can look back in time and call this our core four.”
  • The failed Bogdan Bogdanovic sign-and-trade was a bad look for the franchise, but Matt Velazquez of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (subscription required) contends there’s a case to be made that the Bucks will ultimately be better off with the moves they made instead. Not landing Bogdanovic allowed Milwaukee to offer more than the minimum to add role players like D.J. Augustin, Bobby Portis, and Bryn Forbes, and the team didn’t end up having to part with promising 23-year-old Donte DiVincenzo.
  • In his latest mailbag, K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago fields questions about the Bulls‘ surprising No. 4 draft pick and the club’s relatively quiet free agent period.

Nets, Clippers, Pistons Complete Kennard/Shamet Deal

The Nets, Clippers, and Pistons have officially completed a three-team trade, Brooklyn announced in a press release. The deal is an amalgamation of a series of moves that were previously reported separately. Here’s what the swap looks like as a whole:

  • Nets acquire Landry Shamet (from Clippers), Bruce Brown (from Pistons), and the draft rights to Reggie Perry (No. 57 pick; from Clippers).
  • Clippers acquire Luke Kennard (from Pistons), Justin Patton (from Pistons), the draft rights to Jay Scrubb (No. 55 pick; from Nets), the Trail Blazers’ 2023 second-round pick (from Pistons), the Pistons’ 2024 second-round pick, the Pistons’ 2025 second-round pick, and the Pistons’ 2026 second-round pick.
  • Pistons acquire Dzanan Musa (from Nets), Rodney McGruder (from Clippers), the draft rights to Saddiq Bey (No. 19 pick; from Nets), the draft rights to Jaylen Hands (from Nets), the Raptors’ 2021 second-round pick (from Nets), and cash (from Clippers).

Got all that?

Besides combining these three trades into one giant transaction, the three teams exchanged a few more pieces that weren’t previously reported — most notably, the Clippers received a whopping four future second-round picks from Detroit as part of the deal. Patton and Hands’ draft rights also weren’t mentioned in previous reports, though they’re minor pieces.

The most important parts of the deal from Brooklyn’s perspective are Shamet and Brown, who will compete for backcourt minutes in 2020/21. The Clippers acquire Kennard, a knockdown outside shooter who should fit in well alongside L.A.’s stars, and stock up on future second-round picks. And the Pistons were able to land a top-20 pick that allowed them to nab Bey, a prospect who had been viewed as a potential lottery pick entering draft night.

Pistons Notes: Draft, Hayes, Kennard, Lee, More

The Pistons, who at one point held only the No. 7 pick in the Wednesday night’s draft, came away with three of the top 19 selections after a series of trades that saw them secure Killian Hayes (No. 7), Isaiah Stewart (No. 16), and Saddiq Bey (No. 19). For good measure, they also picked up the 38th overall pick in another deal and drafted Saben Lee.

The moves were a reflection of the aggressiveness that new general manager Troy Weaver hopes to bring to the job, as Omari Sankofa II of The Detroit Free Press writes.

“We’re going to attack the draft, we’re going to attack free agency, we’re going to attack everything,” Weaver said. “I said coming in, this was going to be a restoring of two interactions of the great Pistons teams. That was their mentality. They were aggressive, they were on the attack and we want to follow suit. That’s the mantra and we’ll hopefully continue to be aggressive. But we wanted to set the tone.”

Here’s more on the Pistons:

  • The Pistons view Killian Hayes as having the most upside of anyone in this draft class, according to James Edwards III of The Athletic. While it’s easy to make that claim after drafting him, it sounds like Hayes was aware that the team was high on him. “I was confident (that Detroit would pick me), but you never know until it happens,” he said after the draft, per Edwards.
  • Although the Pistons liked Luke Kennard, they felt as if his timeline didn’t match up with theirs, according to Edwards. The club viewed him as a productive role player on a team further down the road than Detroit is now.
  • The Pistons had a first-round grade on No. 38 pick Saben Lee, sources tell Edwards. Lee is reportedly signing a two-way deal.
  • The Pistons are receiving $1.5MM in cash from the Nets in the deal that will send Bruce Brown to Brooklyn, Edwards reports (via Twitter).

Kennard To Clippers, Shamet To Nets In Three-Team Trade

The Clippers, Nets, and Pistons have agreed to a trade, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN and Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter links).

Wojnarowski and Charania report that Brooklyn will acquire Landry Shamet in the three-team trade, with Luke Kennard going to the Clippers and the Pistons acquiring Rodney McGruder and the No. 19 overall pick in tonight’s draft (Twitter link). Detroit selected Villanova forward Saddiq Bey using that selection.

The Clippers are betting that Kennard, who averaged 15.8 PPG on .442/.399/.893 shooting in 28 games for Detroit last season, will be an upgrade on Shamet. who recorded 9.3 PPG on .404/.375/.855 shooting in 53 games.

The Clippers also discussed a bigger trade with the Celtics which included Shamet, Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo tweets.

Kennard has a slightly less favorable contract than Shamet — he’s extension-eligible this fall and will be a restricted free agent in 2021 if he doesn’t sign a new deal. He’ll earn $5.3MM in 2020/21. Shamet, meanwhile, will earn $2MM in ’20/21 and $3.8MM in ’21/22 before potentially reaching restricted free agency in 2022.

Kennard is coming off an injury-marred season in which he played just 28 games due to tendinitis in both knees. However, he looked completely healthy during the team’s workouts in September.

Shamet provides another rotation guard for the Nets at a reasonable salary.

Bey is the third first-round pick by Detroit. It earlier selected Euro guard Killian Hayes at No. 7 and Washington center Isaiah Stewart at No. 16.

Eastern Notes: Kennard, Maker, Patton, Avdija, Garland

Rookie scale extension candidate Luke Kennard made a strong impression on Pistons coach Dwane Casey during the team’s mini-camp, James Edwards of The Athletic tweets. Kennard missed most of the season due to knee injuries but looked completely healthy during the workouts.

“Luke Kennard came in here in great shape. He accomplished and we accomplished with what we wanted to do with him. No tendinitis,” Casey said. “I think he’s in the best shape since I’ve coached him. He played with intelligence and confidence.”

We have more from around the Eastern Conference:

  • Neither Thon Maker nor Justin Patton stood out during that same Detroit mini-camp, Edwards reports. Entering the workouts, it was considered a battle for a frontcourt roster spot. However, it’s unlikely the Pistons will extend Maker a $4.64MM qualifying offer. Thus, Maker would become an unrestricted free agent. Patton, who has a non-guaranteed salary of $1.76MM next season, underwent pinkie surgery two days after group activities began.
  • Israeli forward Deni Avdija could be the Knicks’ target if he slides to the No. 8 pick, according to Marc Berman of the New York Post. The Knicks plan to interview Avdija, who is praised for his versatility and outside shooting touch. He’s currently ranked No. 4 among the best available prospects by ESPN.
  • Darius Garland stood out in the Cavaliers mini-camp, Chris Fedor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports. Garland had the look of a “very dynamic point guard,” according to one of the team’s assistant coaches. Garland averaged 12.3 PPG, 3.9 APG and 2.6 TPG in 59 starts as a rookie after being selected with No. 5 overall pick.