The Los Angeles Clippers have signed free-agent forward Kawhi Leonard to a three-year, $103 million maximum contract, according to multiple reports on Wednesday.
It was originally reported that Leonard would receive a four-year, $142 million maximum contract.
The deal is actually for two years guaranteed with a third-year player option, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic. That would allow Leonard, a 28-year-old Southern California native, to opt out and become a free agent again in 2021.
Paul George, who the Clippers traded for to pair with Leonard, also has two years guaranteed and a player option remaining on his deal.
Leonard, who led the Toronto Raptors to their first NBA championship after he was acquired in a trade from the San Antonio Spurs last July, reportedly selected the Clippers over the Raptors and Los Angeles Lakers. According to TSN of Canada, Leonard made “unreasonable” demands of the Raptors during contract talks.
Leonard, averaged 26.6 points and 7.3 rebounds over 60 regular-season games with the Raptors in 2018-19. He then improved on that over 24 playoff games averaging 30.5 points with 9.1 rebounds.
In the NBA Finals, Leonard scored 28.5 points per game with 9.8 rebounds as Toronto defeated the Golden State Warriors in six games.
The three-time All-Star, who was drafted 15th overall by the Indiana Pacers in 2011, has averaged 17.7 points and 6.3 rebounds over 467 games (440 starts) with the San Antonio Spurs and the Raptors.
Along with Leonard and George, the 2021 free-agent class could potentially include the likes of Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bradley Beal, Anthony Davis, Andre Drummond, Blake Griffin, and LeBron James, who has a player option for 2021 on the four-year deal he signed with the Lakers last offseason.
--Field Level Media
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