Clippers take cautious approach to extension deal with Leonard
The Los Angeles Clippers are hoping to maintain the one-two punch.
Um Mi-seok Clippers, ‘Son’ Kawhi Leonard (forward 201cm 102.1kg) is not in a hurry to extend his contract.
The Clippers’ key players Leonard and Paul George could be in the transfer market at the end of the upcoming 2023-2024 season. Because there is a player option. Both are still in their early 30s, so long-term contracts are possible. As a result, the Clippers also want to stay in the one-two punch and stay strong.
But the Clippers are calmly approaching. This is because he spent more money than other clubs to maintain a large player base while having a strong one-two punch. As a result, the Clippers hope to continue their current position while managing their finances as much as possible. As a result, it is known that they want to get the best treatment or get them out with fewer contracts.
No wonder the Clippers are careful. You’ve already received the best treatment. For Leonard, it’s because he signed a new contract with the Clippers in the summer of 2021. Clippers sign Leonard to a four-year, $176 million contract. It’s a contract worth over $40 million a year. The player option is included in the final year of the contract, and the contract ends until the 2024-2025 season.
But Leonard hasn’t played in many games since his first stint with the Clippers in the summer of 2019. He made only 161 appearances in the regular season in four seasons from the last 2019-2020 season to the last season. It was painful not to be able to play the 2021-2022 season at all after being seriously injured in the 2021 playoffs. I’ve never played more than 60 games.
It is understood that the Clippers want to join in a less good deal, but they have missed many games and failed to advance to the playoffs. First of all, Leonard and George did not play together often, and even at the time of formation, they raised expectations by building a large forward corps with one-two punches, but they failed to operate properly at a time when power was important due to injuries.
He played in 52 games last season. He started in 50 of them. He had 23.8 points (.512.416.871), 6.5 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 1.4 steals in 33.6 minutes per game. Although he returned from a serious injury, he still showed off his skills and rust-free appearance. The Clippers certainly stood out when Leonard played. He was instrumental in helping the Clippers reach the playoffs.
However, he did not perform well at the beginning of the season. After playing in two games, he was absent for about three weeks, and then came back to play in the main game. To make matters worse, George was badly injured at the end of the season and the Clippers had to play without a one-two punch at a crucial time. Leonard was injured in the first leg of the playoffs. The Clippers, who were aiming for a high position, had to be satisfied with advancing to the first round.