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#pounditTuesday, June 18, 2024

Clippers president has amazing quote about Kawhi Leonard extension

Kawhi Leonard in Clippers uniform

Feb 26, 2020; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Los Angeles Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard (2) against the Phoenix Suns at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Clippers president Lawrence Frank had an excellent response to those questioning the team’s $152.4 million commitment to Kawhi Leonard.

The Clippers signed Leonard to a 3-year, $152.4 million contract extension that keeps him with the team until the 2026-27 season. The Clippers announced the news on Wednesday. Leonard held a $47.8 million player option for next season before the extension.

Frank was asked by ClutchPoints reporter Tomer Azarly about the Clippers’ massive financial commitment to Leonard given the All-Star’s injury history.

Frank was, well, frank in his response.

“Anybody can get injured,” said Frank. “Not everybody can be a top 5 player.”

Availability has been the biggest issue with Leonard over the last handful of years. The Clippers star has failed to play more than 60 games in a season since the 2016-17 campaign.

But Leonard has mostly had a clean bill of health heading into the halfway point of this season. The 32-year-old has missed just 4 of his team’s first 36 games. Leonard has averaged 23.6 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 1.7 steals across 32 contests.

Teams have certainly committed huge sums of money to players who have proven much less than Leonard. The 5-time All-Star has won two championships and two Finals MVP awards. He’s also a bona fide playoff performer when healthy.

Frank and the Clippers are risking $152 million with the hope that the “when healthy” caveat doesn’t come back to haunt them.


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