Kawhi Leonard Re-Signs With Clippers
To the chagrin of Knick hopefuls, Kawhi Leonard has officially opted to remain in his hometown of Los Angeles. On Thursday, Leonard penned a four-year $176 million contract with the Los Angeles Clippers, which features a player option for his final year.
What’s notable about the agreement isn’t the Claw’s decision to stay with the Clippers as much as the exact time frame, and how the organization intends to build talent around him in the upcoming years.
In a formal statement, Clippers’ president of basketball operations Lawrence Frank expressed his enthusiasm and long-term commitment to winning with Leonard.
“Kawhi is a transcendent player and a relentless worker who improves himself every day. 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.”
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The Clippers are coming off a Western Conference finals appearance, where they lost to the Phoenix Suns in six games. The team was forced to battle without their five-time all-star, who suffered a partially torn ACL in Game 4 of the Western Conference Semifinals versus the Utah Jazz. Though co-star Paul George was phenomenal throughout the playoffs, backed by a supporting cast that stepped up in clutch moments (looking at you Reggie Jackson), Leonard’s presence was sorely missed.
Before the injury, Leonard averaged 30.4 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 4.4 assists in 11 games in the 2021 playoffs.
Had Leonard been healthy, who knows whether the Clippers would have beaten the Bucks. However, what is certain is the squad being back in the playoff hunt, gunning for their first-ever Finals appearance.
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