Last week, it was announced that Kawhi Leonard made up his mind on his free agency and opted to return to the Los Angeles Clippers. The only thing that was unclear was whether or not he’d sign a short-term deal that gives him the flexibility to survey the landscape of the league a little sooner or a long-term deal to give himself financial security, and on Thursday afternoon, we learned that Leonard will opt for the latter.
According to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, Leonard and the Clippers came to terms on a four-year deal that features a player option in its final year. This means that the 30-year-old Leonard would not be able to return to free agency until after the 2023-24 campaign. Shams Charania of The Athletic brings word that Leonard will make more than $170 million over the life of the deal.
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
The Clippers confirmed the new deal shortly after.
Continuing our journey together.
— LA Clippers (@LAClippers) August 12, 2021
The big question regarding Leonard is whether or not he’ll play this season after he suffered a partially torn ACL during the Western Conference Semifinals against the Utah Jazz. He was magnificent this past season, though, averaging 24.8 points, 6.5 rebounds, 5.2 assists, and 1.6 steals in 34.1 minutes per game. He’s not the only Clipper to get a big money deal in recent months, as Paul George agreed to a four-year extension back in December.