Grading the Clippers' Kawhi Leonard extension

Breaking down Kawhi's new contract with the Clippers.
Kawhi Leonard, LA Clippers
Kawhi Leonard, LA Clippers / Dylan Buell/GettyImages

Kawhi Leonard is a mysterious, largely unpredictable figure. But as of today, the LA Clippers can be certain of one thing: the two-time Finals MVP is here to stay through the 2026-27 season.

Per Shams Charania of The Athletic, Leonard signed a new three-year, $152.4 million contract extension that will keep him in Los Angeles for the next three seasons.

Kawhi Leonard has re-signed with the Clippers

This means a couple of things.

For one, The Clippers and Leonard agreed to settle on a deal that gives more flexibility for the team to sign and re-sign star players. In comparison, Paul George was eligible to sign a max deal that would pay him $220 million for four years.

For another, Leonard is more than satisfied with being on the Clippers.

In an era of basketball with constant noise from players complaining and wanting out of their teams, the Los Angeles native has now signed two extensions without any public outcry or complaints. He has previously wanted out of San Antonio via trade and didn't return to Toronto despite winning a championship in his first year.

This signing is a continuation of a culture of relevance and stardom that came with the arrival of the reigning Finals MVP in 2019

Leonard has been a dominant two-way force in the NBA and is one of the most reliable and efficient performers in the postseason. In 32 games this season, the five-time All-Star is averaging 23.8 points, 6.1 rebounds and 3.4 assists. The Clippers currently boast the fourth-best record in the Western Conference with 23 wins in 36 games.

The only setbacks in Leonard's career have been injuries. An ACL injury kept him out of the 2021-22 season completely and he played in just two games in last year's playoff matchup against the Phoenix Suns.

But with this extension, Leonard is entrusting the Clippers. And LA had every reason to return the favor.

The deal is not as expensive as it could have been. It brings the winning culture to the Intuit Dome. And it's Kawhi Leonard.

The extension makes perfect sense.

Instant Grade: A

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