Clips hold Kawhi on 4-year, $176.3M max deal

NBA

Kawhi Leonard will stay with the LA Clippers long run after re-signing with the workforce Thursday, the workforce introduced.

Phrases of the deal weren’t revealed by the Clippers, however a supply confirmed with ESPN that Leonard signed a four-year, $176.3 million max deal that features a participant choice within the fourth 12 months.

Leonard beforehand declined his participant choice for $36 million this coming season to turn out to be a free agent.

Leonard’s signing on Thursday was first reported by Yahoo Sports activities.

“Kawhi is a transcendent participant and a relentless employee who improves himself daily,” mentioned Lawrence Frank, the workforce’s president of basketball operations in a press release. “We share most of the identical targets, which embody a long-term relationship. This settlement marks one other essential second for our franchise and our followers, as we try to create a championship-caliber group, the place gamers discover the success and achievement they search. We’re wanting to proceed constructing with Kawhi.”

Leonard is anticipated to overlook vital time this season as he makes his approach again from surgical procedure on July 13 to restore {a partially} torn proper ACL that stored him out of the Clippers’ last eight playoff video games.

The 2-time Finals MVP joined different veterans comparable to Paul George and Reggie Jackson in attendance on the Clippers’ first two video games this week at Summer season League in Las Vegas.

“For now, we are going to do no matter we are able to to help him in his restoration from harm,” Frank mentioned within the workforce assertion. “We stay up for seeing him again the place he needs to be, on the court docket along with his teammates.”

The Clippers have spent this offseason maintaining their core largely intact after reaching their first Western Convention Finals this previous season. The Clippers have re-signed Leonard, Jackson and Nicolas Batum. Serge Ibaka opted into the second 12 months of his deal to return, and the workforce added ahead Justise Winslow to assist fill the void left by Leonard’s knee harm.

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 joined the Clippers as a free agent within the greatest summer time of the franchise’s existence in 2019 when the workforce added Leonard and traded 5 first-round picks, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Danilo Gallinari to Oklahoma Metropolis for George.

The Clippers have now signed each Leonard and George to long-term contracts. Earlier than Leonard’s knee harm, the Clippers obtained a glimpse of their potential with Leonard and George taking part in their greatest 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. George averaged 26.9 factors, 9.6 rebounds and 5.4 assists in the course of the playoffs to assist the Clippers attain the Western Convention Finals.

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