NBA free agency is scheduled to begin Monday at 6 p.m. ET but ahead of the frenzy multiple star players have elected to decline their player options and hit the market. Most notably, Clippers star Kawhi Leonard.
Leonard declined his $36 million player option, per Yahoo Sports's Chris Haynes, and later confirmed by ESPN. Leonard will hit free agency this offseason but is expected to re-sign with the Clippers and negotiate a new deal.
Leonard, 30, had offseason surgery on a partially torn ACL that sidelined him during the second half of his team's playoff run and is looking for some new money.
He's eligible for a salary worth 35% of the salary cap, or $39 million, and could earn $175 million in the next four years, per Yahoo Sports. Leonard averaged 24.8 points, 6.5 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game last season and was named to his third All-NBA first team.
Here's a few more players who will be joining him in the free agent pool:
- Suns point guard Chris Paul is declining his $44.2 million player option for the 2021–22 season and will enter free agency this offseason, per The Athletic's Shams Charania.
- There's optimism that Paul will reach an agreement with the Suns on a new deal by Monday night, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.
- The Grizzlies declined Justice Winslow's $13 million team option and he will enter free agency, according to The Athletic.
- The Heat are declining Andre Igoudala's $15 million team option according to ESPN, and picked up Goran Dragić's $19.4 million team option.
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