One day has passed since it was announced that the LA Clippers were officially signing Kawhi Leonard to a new three-year, $152.4 million contract extension. Speculation around the next move for the Clippers' best player had been widespread, and now there is zero doubt he remain in his home of Southern California.
The extension for Leonard comes in the middle of a stretch of some of the most high-level basketball the Clippers have played all season. After their win over the Raptors on Wednesday, LA has now won an absurd 16 of its last 19 games.
Now, the organization can breathe a sigh of relief that their best player is locked in for the future, and can begin planning new moves accordingly. One underrated aspect of Kawhi's new deal with the Clippers is the exclusion of a player option at any point in the contract. This means that when Kawhi signs on the dotted line, he will officially be committing to the franchise through at least the 2026-27 season.
Kawhi Leonard's contract does not include a player option
Typically, including a player option is something a player will try to push for if they want to be sure they can keep their options open down the road. If they chose to, they could always decline their player option and opt to go elsewhere in free agency.
Clearly, Kawhi Leonard has no intention of wanting to seek a new home in the NBA anytime soon. He is dead set on bringing a championship to LA, and that is also reflected in his willingness to sign for $8.5 million below the maximum amount the Clippers were able to pay him.
Now, the team will have extra resources to seek out free agents as well as the assurance that one of the top players in the league will be on board with them for three more seasons.