Kawhi Leonard Rumors: Star Expected to Re-Sign with Clippers in Free Agency

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVApril 7, 2021

Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Los Angeles Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard is "widely" expected to re-sign with the team in free agency this summer.

Sam Amick and John Hollinger of The Athletic reported Wednesday that both the Clippers and other teams within the NBA expect Leonard to stay put. The All-Star has a $36 million player option for the 2021-22 season but will likely opt out in favor of signing a long-term contract.

Paul George signed a four-year, $190 million extension with the Clippers in December.

While it's been seen as a foregone conclusion that Leonard and George will stay in Los Angeles, the fact that Kawhi is yet to sign an extension keeps the door for a departure slightly ajar.

Both Clippers stars have been open about their desire to return home to Southern California and their happiness in their current situation.

Perhaps the only thing that could separate the two stars would be another postseason failure. Leonard and George both took significant criticism after the Clippers blew a 3-1 lead to the Denver Nuggets in last year's playoffs.

The Clippers are 34-18, good for the third seed in the Western Conference. Leonard bemoaned the team's lack of consistency when speaking with reporters last month:

Video Play Button
Videos you might like

"It's very concerning. [If] we want to have a chance at anything, you gotta be consistent. You know, that's what the great teams do, they're consistent. They have their nights when, you know, the energy's not there. But it's all about consistency, from teams to players to coaches. That's what makes a team great, players great, coaches great. A consistency of being, wanting to win, and doing pretty much the same habits of winning."

Regardless of Leonard's concerns, it appears he is in Los Angeles to stay.