It's Official: Kawhi Leonard Returning to Clippers

Kawhi Leonard had decided not to pick up his $36 million dollar player option for this season, which led to speculation by some about whether he would be taking meetings as a free agent and looking to possibly move on from the Los Angeles Clippers. But that's all put to rest now, as Yahoo Sports is reporting that Kawhi will be officially be re-signing with the Clippers.

The move comes even as Kawhi will miss likely the entire 2021-22 season, rehabbing from ACL surgery. 

The allure of home has always been obvious for Leonard; the fact is, he left a championship team and a chance to defend a title in 2019 with the Toronto Raptors to head to L.A., so a little problem like knee surgery wasn't going to dissuade him from staying home now. 

It's likely that the Clippers' relative playoff success—even without him for the last two games of their Western Conference Semi-Final series—convinced him that the team was headed in the right direction, after a disastrous collapse in the 2020 playoffs. 

Although no terms of the contract have been released yet, according to a Sports Illustrated report, the math of potential dollars available to him and to the team in future years, indicates that he might be signing a one-year deal worth $39.3 million, which would then make him eligible to sign a maximum 5-year deal next summer. 

Photo Credit: Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports