Sources: Kawhi staying with Clips regardless of opt-out


Kawhi Leonard has determined to return to the LA Clippers, a supply confirmed to ESPN.

Phrases of the deal are being finalized for Leonard, who declined his participant possibility for $36 million this coming season to change into a free agent however was anticipated to return to the Clippers. His determination to remain comes on the identical day that Reggie Jackson agreed to re-sign with the Clippers for a two-year, $22 million deal, his brokers, Aaron Mintz and Erika Ruiz, advised ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Additionally, the Clippers agreed to phrases on a two-year take care of ahead Justise Winslow, his brokers, Austin Brown and Ruiz, advised Wojnarowski.

Leonard’s determination to return, which was first reported by Yahoo Sports activities, comes because the two-time Finals MVP is recovering from surgical procedure on July 13 to restore {a partially} torn proper ACL that stored him out of the Clippers’ remaining eight playoff video games.

Leonard is anticipated to overlook important time, however the Clippers are thrilled to have Leonard and Jackson again.

“We hope to have a really long-term relationship with him,” Lawrence Frank, president of basketball operations, stated of Leonard after the NBA draft. “… Proper now our focus, like Kawhi, is on his well being. He had main surgical procedure. He tore his ACL. That is going to require quite a lot of time and we need to help him in that.”

Frank stated after the draft that the workforce wished to deliver again Leonard, Jackson, Nicolas Batum and Serge Ibaka. All 4 are set to return. Batum agreed to a two-year deal earlier this week and Ibaka already exercised his contract choice to return for a second yr.

Regardless of Leonard’s damage, the star ahead was nonetheless the largest free agent though he was anticipated to return and negotiate a brand new take care of the Clippers, as Wojnarowski reported on Sunday.

Leonard averaged 24.8 factors, 6.5 rebounds and 5.2 assists in 52 regular-season video games throughout his second marketing campaign with the Clippers. He missed 9 out of 10 regular-season video games in April due to a foot damage final season.

Previous to Leonard’s knee damage, the Clippers bought a glimpse of their potential with Leonard and Paul George taking part in their finest basketball collectively on the playoff stage. Leonard averaged 30.4 factors, 7.7 rebounds and 4.4 assists whereas taking pictures 57.3% in 11 postseason video games.

Bringing Jackson again was crucial for the Clippers with Leonard out indefinitely. Jackson will probably be returning for the utmost that the Clippers will pay Jackson below the CBA guidelines.

Jackson revived his profession this previous season, stepping up offensively and hitting clutch pictures to assist the Clippers attain their first-ever Western Convention finals. After averaging 10.7 factors and taking pictures 43.3% from 3-point vary within the common season, the 10-year veteran emerged as one of many Clippers’ playoff stars.

Winslow joins the Clippers after the ahead had his $13 million workforce possibility declined by the Memphis Grizzlies on Aug. 1. If wholesome, the 6-foot-6 Winslow hopes to assist the Clippers attempt to fill an enormous void whereas Leonard is out.

Winslow performed in a complete of simply 26 video games final season and has performed in a mixed complete of 37 video games over the previous two seasons as a consequence of accidents that included a season-ending hip damage he suffered through the NBA restart within the bubble in Orlando final yr.

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