SportThree reasons why Kawhi Leonard's new contract is another win for Clippers star
Kawhi Leonard free agency rumors: Multiple teams interested in pairing star with Jimmy Butler
Multiple teams are exploring signing both stars this summer, according to a report from SNY.
The philosopher, "Real G's move in silence like lasagna." Kawhi Leonard may have never heard that line, but he sure embodies it.
Fresh off his second title and NBA Finals MVP, Leonard realized he had more power in free agency than any player in the league. He controlled every aspect of negotiations with the Clippers, Lakers and Raptors, and he activelyto play with him while contemplating his choices. The Leonard sweepstakes ultimately ended with both Leonard and George on the Clippers, making Los Angeles .
Kawhi Leonard's decision is 'franchise-changing,' Raptors' Fred VanVleet says
VanVleet discussed Leonard's impending decision and what it means for the team Sunday on Stadium, saying, "we want Kawhi back."
NBA FREE AGENCY 2020:
NBA FREE AGENCY 2020:
But Leonard didn't sign a four-year, $142 million max contract with the Clippers. He agreed to a three-year, $103 million deal with a player option for the third season, according to .
Why do those numbers matter? Glad you asked...
Kawhi Leonard sets himself up for another huge contract
As the saying goes,Much like Kevin Durant and LeBron James, Leonard will make significant money and maintain flexibility with this two-plus-one deal.
|Kawhi Leonard contract||Age||Salary|
|2021-22 (player option)||30||$36.0 million|
Leonard can re-enter free agency after the 2020-21 season by declining his player option as a 10-year veteran, which allows the Clippers to offer him a max contract worth 35 percent of the team's cap.
Danny Green on Kawhi Leonard's free agency: 'I try to leave him alone'
Green is waiting to see what Leonard does before deciding where he will sign in free agency.
In this case, Leonard would be projected to sign a four-year, $196 million contract with the Clippers. That would help Leonard recoup the dollars left behind when he asked out of San Antonio. (He could also take that 2021-22 option and then go for the full five-year max.)
If Kawhi Leonard took a 35% supermax from SAS, he would’ve made $222M over next 5 years.
He’s now set himself up to opt out in 2021 and get his 35% max from LAC. If he does, he’d make $209M over same 5 years (a $13M discount), but lock in an extra year paying him $54M at age 33.— Albert Nahmad (@AlbertNahmad)
Then again, we're talking about a guyafter his last contract extension. Leonard might not care all that much as long as "Board man gets fed."
Kawhi Leonard is now on the same timeline as Paul George
George agreed to a three-plus-one contract with the Thunder last summer. It was a massive victory for Oklahoma City after general manager Sam Presti traded for George with no guarantee he would be anything more than a rental.
Clippers add Kawhi Leonard, Paul George in Friday night stunner, report says
LA agreed to sign the Finals MVP and trad for another star forward just before the NBA's moratorium on deals is lifted.
Yeah, about that…
Now that George is heading to Los Angeles, he aligns perfectly with Leonard. That's worth noting because this could be a partnership Leonard and George want to keep in place beyond their current deals.
At the same time he was meeting with the Los Angeles Lakers and Toronto Raptors this week, Leonard was meeting, calling and texting with George, trying to convince him to find a way out of Oklahoma City.
Like Durant, George was flattered by Leonard's recruiting. The two had a fair amount in common. They'd grown up in the Los Angeles area at about the same time. George, 29, is from Palmdale, a dusty desert town about an hour and a half north of L.A. Leonard, 28, is from Riverside, a sprawling Inland Empire town about an hour and a half east of L.A. Both had been lightly recruited out of high school, found their footing as players at mid-major colleges (George at Fresno State, Leonard at San Diego State) and then quietly entered the NBA as mid-first-round picks.
Still, Leonard's recruiting efforts caught George by surprise.
Kawhi Leonard to Clippers: What the star's departure means for Raptors
Leonard shook up the NBA when he picked the Clippers in free agency just a few weeks after leading Toronto to its first title.
Said one source close to George, "For a quiet guy, he's a hell of a recruiter."
Not every player can call up another star and persuade him to immediately request a trade. This dynamic duo should work well together on the floor, but there could also be a bond beyond the court.
The Clippers are already on the clock
Leonard ditched the Spurs, one of the most successful franchises in NBA history. He walked away from the Raptors after a championship season. He helped force the Thunder into a trade. He kept the Lakers involved in his free agency chase long enough so they'd miss out on other targets before settling for leftovers. (Maybe that wasn't an intended consequence of waiting out the week to sign with the Clippers, but it was a consequence nonetheless.)
So if you're Clippers president Lawrence Frank or general manager Michael Winger, you better check all of Leonard's boxes in the next two years. The Clippers have a geographic advantage the Raptors never did, but that alone isn't enough to ensure Leonard stays through the rest of his prime.
It's extremely smart for Leonard to create this kind of leverage. He is telling Los Angeles' front office that it must continue to be all-in with winning moves. The Clippers can't afford to lose Leonard and George because they unloaded a crazy amount of assets in the trade with OKC.
Imagine the kind of teams that could be formed if Leonard and George become unrestricted free agents in 2021.
Possible NBA free agents available in 2021:
Also possible Giannis gets there— Tommy Beer (@TommyBeer)
, "We’ve reached the stage where an exit should be the expectation." Nothing can be assumed in the NBA, especially when it comes to the future of superstars.
The Clippers pulled off an unlikely Leonard-George heist this summer, but the real work has only just begun.
Kawhi Leonard's camp made 'unreasonable' demands to Raptors, report says.
The NBA Finals MVP's demands reportedly "made the Raptors wonder whether Leonard was seriously considering them at all." When asked whether he thought Leonard had been upfront in his negotiations, Ujiri told TSN, “I think he was." After pausing, he added, “Kawhi was.” Read into that pause what you will about Ujiri's thoughts on Leonard's camp. Whatever the intent there, the Raptors are moving on.
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