Kawhi Leonard will re-sign with the LA Clippers, sources confirmed to ESPN.
Leonard declined a $ 36 million player option before free agency began on Monday, leading to this deal to stay with the Clippers.
Leonard’s decision to return was first reported by Yahoo Sports.
The star forward underwent surgery July 13 to repair a partially torn right anterior cruciate ligament that kept him out of the Clippers’ last eight postseason games. Leonard is expected to miss a lot of action time as he recovers from injury.
Despite the injury, Leonard remained the league’s biggest star with a decision to make this summer regarding his future. He decided between opting for his $ 36 million contract in 2021-22 with the option of then signing a four-year, $ 181.5 million extension that would begin in 2022-23 or rejecting the option and potentially signing a four-year, $ 176.2 million contract.
Leonard averaged 24.8 points, 6.5 rebounds and 5.2 assists in 52 regular-season games during his second season in Los Angeles. He missed nine of the 10 regular season games in April due to a foot injury.
Before Leonard’s knee injury, the Clippers got a glimpse of their potential with Leonard and Paul George playing their best basketball together on the playoff stage. Leonard averaged 30.4 points, 7.7 rebounds and 4.4 assists, shooting 57.3 percent in 11 postseason games.