Kawhi Leonard is hitting free agency -- sort of. The Los Angeles Clippers superstar has declined his $36 million player option for the 2021-22 season, as first reported by Yahoo Sports' Chris Haynes, but he is expected to re-sign with the Clippers, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.
Leonard can sign a new deal with Los Angeles worth up to $176.2 million over four years. This would keep him under contract until the end of the 2024-25 season. Had he picked up his option, he could have signed a four-year extension for $181.5 million, which would have kept him under contract through the 2025-26 season.
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In mid-June, Leonard suffered a partially torn ACL during the Clippers' playoff series against the Utah Jazz. He has subsequently had surgery and is expected to miss most if not all of the 2021-22 season.