NBA: Kawhi Leonard re-signs with Clippers on reported 4-year deal

Royce O'Neale (left) ties up Kawhi Leonard after fouling him during the Western Conference second-round playoff series at Staples Center on June 14, 2021.
Royce O'Neale (left) ties up Kawhi Leonard after fouling him during the Western Conference second-round playoff series at Staples Center on June 14, 2021.PHOTO: AFP

LOS ANGELES (REUTERS) - After declining a US$36 million (S$48.9 million) player option earlier this month, forward Kawhi Leonard officially re-signed with the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday (Aug 12).

The team did not disclose the terms of the deal, but Yahoo Sports and The Athletic reported Leonard signed a four-year contract. According to The Athletic, the new contract is worth US$176.3 million.

Leonard underwent surgery on a partially torn ACL in his right knee on July 13, and there is no timetable for his return.

A Southern California native, Leonard first joined the Clippers in 2019 after a high-stakes free agency period. He and star teammate Paul George have yet to bring the Clippers to the NBA Finals.

In 2020-21, Los Angeles reached the Western Conference Finals but lost in six games to the Phoenix Suns. Leonard missed the entire series with his knee injury.

The two-time NBA Finals MVP (2014, 2019) and two-time Defensive Player of the Year (2015, 2016) averaged 24.8 points, 6.5 rebounds, 5.2 assists and 1.6 steals per contest last season. He was named to the All-NBA First Team for the third time of his career.