The pact includes a player option for the final year.
Ian Begley of SNY reported Leonard's deal includes a trade kicker:
Leonard was one of the biggest potential free agents this offseason, though the expectation was he would return to the Clippers. The question was whether he would pick up his $36 million player option for the 2021-22 season.
While he declined his option and hit the open market, there was an argument that picking it up might have made sense, as it would have allowed him to sign a five-year, $235 million deal next offseason.
Or, as ESPN's Bobby Marks noted, he could have opted in this year and immediately signed a four-year extension off that:
Bobby Marks @BobbyMarks42
Here is the breakdown on the $176.3M contract for Kawhi Leonard:<br><br>21/22- $39.34M<br>22/23- $42.49M<br>23/24- $45.64M<br>24/25- $48.78M (Player)<br><br>Leonard could have signed a four-year $187M extension if he had opted-in to his $36M contract in 2021/22. <br><br>Total would have been $223M
With Leonard potentially missing the entirety, or majority, of the 2021-22 season while recovering from a torn ACL, he took the short-term pay bump and the long-term security of a four-year deal. Regardless of how he got paid, there's no question he just landed huge money.
He's earned it. The 30-year-old averaged 24.8 points, 6.5 rebounds, 5.2 assists and 1.6 steals per game last season, shooting 51.2 percent from the field, 39.8 percent from three and 88.5 percent from the charity stripe, just missing the illustrious 50-40-90 club. He remains arguably the NBA's best two-way player as a smothering defender who was an All-Star, first-team All-NBA selection and second-team All-Defensive pick last year.
Leonard and Paul George haven't led the Clippers to a title in their first two seasons together, though there's an argument that if Leonard hadn't torn his ACL in last year's postseason, they might have done so.
But he'll have at least three, and potentially four, more seasons with the Clippers to accomplish that goal.