The biggest star in this year's free agency class is reportedly off the market.
According to Yahoo Sports' Chris Haynes, star forward Kawhi Leonard has committed to re-signing with the LA Clippers.
Free agent star Kawhi Leonard has decided that he is re-signing with the Los Angeles Clippers and terms are being discussed, league sources tell @YahooSports.- Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) August 6, 2021
UPDATE: Shams Charania of The Athletic has reported that the contract extension is a four-year, $176.3 million deal.
Leonard entered this offseason with one year remaining on his deal with the Clippers, a player option worth $36.0 million. He was open in speaking on that player option earlier this season, stating, "Obviously, if I'm healthy, the best decision is to decline the player option. But that doesn't mean I'm leaving or staying. I'm focused on the season, like I said. We'll talk about that when the time is right."
Leonard suffered a partially torn ACL in the Western Conference Semifinals, forcing him to miss the remainder of the postseason. As outlined by our medical expert Dr. Michael S George of the KSF Orthopaedic Center in Houston, TX, Leonard's recovery timeline should put him in a position to return to action midway through the season, but it will be interesting to see if his injury history has any impact on when he returns.
With that being said, he still elected to decline his player option, looking to sign a new contract as an unrestricted free agent this offseason. While it's undetermined what the Clippers will pay the five-time All-Star, it's hard to believe it wouldn't be worth the money.
In his two seasons with LA, he has averaged 26.0 points, 6.8 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 1.7 steals per game while shooting an efficient 48.8 percent from the field, 38.7 percent from 3 and 88.5 percent from the free throw line. The Clippers have been among the Western Conference's best teams during the two-year stint and could have made a run to their first-ever NBA Finals last season if Leonard stayed healthy.
Just recently turning 30 years old, it will be interesting to see the terms of his contract where the first year could be completely wiped out by a torn ACL, but there is a price to pay to keep one of the league's elite two-way players, even through injury.
Stick with NBA.com for any updates on Leonard's contract situation with the Clippers.
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