Kawhi Leonard signed a four-year maximum contract with a player option in the fourth year with the LA Clippers.
The Clippers did not disclose the terms of the deal, but a source confirmed with ESPN that Leonard signed a four-year, $ 176.3 million maximum deal that includes a fourth-year player option.
Leonard previously turned down his $ 36 million player option next season to become a free agent.
Leonard’s signing on Thursday was first reported by Yahoo Sports.
“Kawhi is a transcendent player and a tireless worker who gets better every day,” said Lawrence Frank, the team’s president of basketball operations in a statement. “We share many of the same goals, including 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 success and support. satisfaction they seek. We can’t wait to continue building with Kawhi. “
Leonard is expected to miss significant time this season as he returns from surgery on July 13 to repair a partially torn right anterior cruciate ligament that kept him out of the Clippers’ last eight postseason games.
The two-time Finals MVP was joined by other veterans like Paul George and Reggie Jackson who attended the Clippers’ first two games this week at the Summer League in Las Vegas.
“For now, we will do everything we can to support him in his recovery from injury,” Frank said in the team statement. “We hope to see him back where he wants to be, on the court with his teammates.” The Clippers have spent this offseason keeping their core largely intact after reaching their first Western Conference Finals last postseason. The Clippers have re-signed Leonard, Jackson and Nicolas Batum. Serge Ibaka opted to return to the second year of his contract and the team added forward Justise Winslow to help fill the void left by Leonard’s knee injury.
Leonard averaged 24.8 points, 6.5 rebounds and 5.2 assists in 52 regular-season games during his second season with the Clippers. He joined the Clippers as a free agent in the biggest summer of the franchise’s existence in 2019 when the team added Leonard and traded five first-round picks, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Danilo Gallinari to Oklahoma City Thunder for George.
The Clippers now signed Leonard and George to long-term contracts. Before Leonard’s knee injury, the Clippers got a glimpse of their potential with Leonard and George playing their best basketball together on the playoff stage. Leonard averaged 30.4 points, 7.7 rebounds and 4.4 assists while accelerating 57.3% in 11 postseason games. George averaged 26.9 points, 9.6 rebounds and 5.4 assists during the playoffs to help the Clippers reach the Western Conference Finals.