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Kawhi Leonard’s Extension With the Clippers Is a Win-Win

Los Angeles will move into its new arena next season with clarity on star players’ futures.

The Board Man got paid!

Los Angeles Clippers star Kawhi Leonard signed a three-year extension to remain out West, the team announced Wednesday. The two-time Finals MVP had a player option for next season that he will decline as part of the agreement. Instead, Leonard signs a new contract with no options that will keep him with the Clips through 2027. The deal is worth $153 million, per multiple reports.

Leonard's contract extension will bring clarity for the Clippers and their other star players' futures.

Leonard's contract extension will bring clarity for the Clippers and their other star players' futures.

Before we get into why this is a great deal for both sides, it’s important to note Leonard has been absolutely hooping so far this season. He’s averaging 23.8 points, 6.1 rebounds and 3.4 assists a game, shooting 51.6% from the field, including 43% from three. More important, Leonard has been available. He’s appeared in 32 of the Clippers’ 36 games, including multiple back-to-backs sets.

The extension is truly a win for both Leonard and the Clippers.

Though Leonard has seemingly avoided any of the injury troubles that have plagued him in the past, the three-year deal gives him security should anything pop up. If he sustained something serious this season or the next, Los Angeles could have moved on next summer. Now, Leonard can continue to work in concert with the team to ensure his time on the floor is being maximized without the fear of no long-term commitment.

And Leonard will be only 36 by the time the contract ends. That means he could have an opportunity to sign at least one more significant contract if he wants to keep playing by then, whether it’s in Los Angeles or elsewhere.

As great as it is for Leonard to secure $150 million, it may be an even better deal for the Clippers. While the Leonard and Paul George era has been frustrating at times, it was a sensible gamble Los Angeles or any team would have done 100 out of 100 times. Injuries have been the biggest issue here. When everyone is on the floor, the Clips are undoubtedly a title contender. And now they’ve locked up three more seasons of a player who—when healthy—has a claim to being the best in the world.

The Leonard deal should also bring clarity to the rest of the star-laden roster. There are already reports George, who currently holds an option for next season, is in talks for a new deal. The Clippers now have an opportunity to match George’s timeline to Leonard’s. James Harden, on an expiring contract, could also be looped in depending on how this postseason goes.

Now, instead of moving into its new arena next season with its best players’ futures up in the air, Los Angeles can possibly tout commitments from its star core while being a title contender in the years to come.

Ultimately, for a player whose career has too often been defined by when he doesn’t play, it’s exciting to see Leonard back on the floor and being rewarded for his immense talent. While his partnership with George hasn’t led to a title, it’s undoubtedly raised the profile of the Clippers and made them a perennial contender. If and when George’s deal follows, both the organization and the players on the court should be set up for success for the foreseeable future.