Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Illustration for article titled Kawhi Leonard Signs For Only Two Guaranteed Years With Clippers, Can Continue Wandering The Barren Plain, Searching, Always Searching
Photo: Ezra Shaw (Getty)

After the long journey to get back home to California, and the incredible finesse in free agency to secure Paul George, it seemed safe to assume that Kawhi Leonard would set down roots in Los Angeles. He’s 28, in the prime of his Hall of Fame career, signing his third contact. After a sour exit from San Antonio and a random but obviously fruitful one-off in the Ontario cold, Leonard is now on a team purely of his own choosing—and, to a hilarious degree, of his own design. He got all the right pieces to fall into place. Why not get comfy? Right after the deal broke, Woj reported that Leonard would sign a four-year contract with the Clippers.

And yet! This damn enigma might just keep drifting across the league. Per Shams Charania, Leonard only signed for three years, with a player option in the third:


The Clippers gave up their future to assemble a deep roster with Leonard and George as its centerpieces, one that can promise stultifying perimeter defense and five-option offensive firepower depending on what the situation demands. Sending an unprecedented haul of picks out to Oklahoma City made sense, too: Do whatever it takes to get two legitimate MVP contenders on your team, right now, with the league wide open, future be damned. Now both Leonard and George can hop into free agency in the summer of 2021. Suddenly, this contender is on a two-year clock.

Who knows what lies ahead of Leonard? (If nothing else, this offseason has proved that anyone who pretends to know is full of shit.) Does he get a title in Los Angeles and keep it moving? Does he treat his late career as philanthropy, bringing a championship to some unloved team in a desperate city? Does he sign with OKC to dance in the spoils of that Paul George deal? Does he link tentacles with Giannis Antetokounmpo? Does he join forces with Markelle Fultz? Does he simply retire? None of that would would surprise me at this point. The man is absolutely twisted, and a treasure.

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