By Eurohoops team/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Kawhi Leonard signed a new four-year contract with the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday. Per Shams Charania, the total worth of the deal is $176.3 million.
The decision of the five-time All-Star forward was already known from last week.
Per the LA Clippers: The LA Clippers have re-signed free agent Kawhi Leonard, it was announced today by president of basketball operations Lawrence Frank. Per team policy, terms of the agreement were not released.
“Kawhi is a transcendent player and a relentless worker who improves himself every day,” said Frank. “We share many of the same goals, which include a long-term relationship. This agreement marks another important moment for our franchise and our fans, as we strive to create a championship-caliber organization, where players find the success and fulfillment they seek. We’re eager to continue building with Kawhi. For now, we will do whatever we can to support him in his recovery from injury. We look forward to seeing him back where he wants to be, on the court with his teammates.”
Last season, Leonard’s second with the Clippers, he appeared in 52 games and led the NBA in offensive rating (121.4), ranked fourth in net rating (12.2), and tied for fifth in steals per game (1.6). The five-time NBA All-Star averaged 24.8 points, 6.5 rebounds, and a career-high 5.2 assists while shooting 51.2 percent from the field and 88.5 percent from the free-throw line. A 6-foot-7 forward, Leonard scored 30 points or more with zero turnovers in four regular-season games, most in the NBA.
The two-time Defensive Player of the Year was named to his seventh All-Defensive team after helping the Clippers finish the season eighth in defensive rating (110.6) and second in net rating (6.1). Leonard was also named to his third All-NBA First Team, the only player to average at least 24.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, 5 assists, and 1.5 steals.
Originally selected with the 15th overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, Leonard has appeared in 576 career games, averaging 19.2 points, 6.4 rebounds, and 2.9 assists with the San Antonio Spurs, Toronto Raptors, and Clippers. In 2012, Leonard was named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team.
A native of Moreno Valley, Calif., Leonard played two seasons of college basketball at San Diego State University, averaging 14.1 points and 10.2 rebounds, and was named second-team All-American after his sophomore year. His No. 15 jersey was retired by the Aztecs in Feb. 2020.
Last season, the two-time NBA Finals MVP averaged 24.8 points per game over 34.1 minutes per game before suffering an ACL injury in the Western Conference semifinals. Without Leonard, the Clippers advanced to the Western Conference finals where they lost to the Phoenix Suns in six games.
In the offseason, Leonard had surgery on his partially torn right ACL. There is no timetable for his return, and he is expected to miss a substantial portion of the 2021-22 season.
However, that didn’t change the Clippers’ plan, who knew when Leonard declined his $36 million option to enter free agency, that he was intending to stay in their roster.