The Clippers’ star small forward has agreed to stick around with the hometown team.
Kawhi Leonard agreed Thursday to a four-year, $176.3 million contract to stay in LA, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania. Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes reports that the fourth year is a player option.
Source: Kawhi Leonard is signing a four-year, $176.3 million deal to return to the Los Angeles Clippers.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) August 12, 2021
Leonard declined a $36 million player option earlier in the offseason but then almost immediately turned his focus to re-signing with the Clippers.
MORE: NBA free agency tracker
Lawrence Frank, the Clippers’ president of basketball operations, said in a team release that Leonard is a “transcendent player.”
“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,” Frank said.
Leonard, 30, helped guide the Clippers to the Western Conference finals last season. He averaged 24.8 points, 6.5 rebounds and 5.2 assists in 52 regular-season games and was averaging 30.4 points, 7.7 rebounds and 4.4 assists in the playoffs when was shut down with a knee injury in Game 4 of the conference finals vs. the Suns.
Leonard underwent offseason surgery to repair a partially torn ACL and could miss most, if not all, of the 2021-22 campaign.
“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 his teammates.” Frank said.
How much Leonard will make each season, according to Spotrac.
- 2021-22: $39,344,900
- 2022-23: $42,492,492
- 2023-24: $45,640,084
- 2024-25: $48,787,676
Spotrac reported that Leonard has already made $149,088,735 in his NBA career. He’ll make more in each of the four seasons of his new deal with Los Angeles than he has in any previous season.
Los Angeles held Leonard’s Early Bird Rights, which go into effect after a player is with the same team for at least two years. As a free agent, Leonard was eligible to receive as much as the $176.3 million he got from the Clippers. Had he signed with another team, Leonard would have been able to receive a max deal of $169.2 million over four years.