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#pounditSaturday, February 4, 2023

Report: Kawhi Leonard widely expected to remain with Clippers

Kawhi Leonard

Kawhi Leonard will have the opportunity to test the free agent market again this offseason, but it does not sound like this process will be anywhere near as interesting as it was the last time he did.

Leonard has a $36 million player option for 2021-22 that he is expected to decline. However, according to Sam Amick and John Hollinger of The Athletic, the Los Angeles Clippers fully expect Leonard to re-sign with the team this offseason. That sentiment is shared by rival executives, who see Leonard remaining in Los Angeles “barring a dramatic turn of events.”

While it’s not impossible that Leonard softens his stance — the event of another Clippers playoff collapse is named as one factor — it’s widely known that Leonard wants to play in Southern California, and that was a decisive factor in his decision to join the Clippers in the first place. The organization has also removed uncertainty by keeping Leonard’s star teammate in the fold for years to come.

Leonard has been quiet about his upcoming free agency, but that’s the way he does things. For now, the 29-year-old seems pleased with the Clippers, and as long as that continues, his free agency appears unlikely to lead to much drama.

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