The LA Clippers have had no shortage of movement in the offseason to put together an NBA title contender. The Clippers operated methodically to structured the roster that can remain one of the NBA’s top teams. LA has just committed to another colossal move that will keep star forward Paul George around for quite some time.
Clippers’ busy offseason
The LA Clippers operated through the offseason with the motivation to put their disappointing 2020 playoff exit behind them.
LA responded with some significant moves that began with parting ways with longtime head coach Doc Rivers. Shortly after, the franchise elected to roll with Tyronn Lue as Rivers’ replacement under a five-year contract.
The Clippers have also reshaped their roster around their star forwards Paul George and Kawhi Leonard. These moves included the departures of Montrezl Harrell, Landry Shamet, and JaMychal Green. In response, the front office brought aboard proven veterans such as Serge Ibaka and Nicolas Batum. The team also resigned Reggie Jackson, Marcus Morris, and Patrick Patterson.
The bulk of the same roster will return next season, with their focus squarely on competing for an NBA title. LA has made yet another massive move by securing the long-term future of one of their cornerstone pieces.
Clippers cement Paul George’s long-term future
The recent chatter around Paul George concerned his future with the LA Clippers.
The star forward recently voiced his desire to retire with the franchise, where he has just finished up his first campaign. George has quickly backed those strong remarks up as Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported on Thursday morning that the 30- year-old has agreed to a five-year max extension that can be worth up to $226 million.
His previous contract with the team ran through the 2020-21 campaign, which would have allowed him to hit free agency next summer. Instead, George has secured his future in LA through the 2024-25 campaign, where he will have a player option.
The new extension puts to bed any possibility that he could decide to bolt in free agency. George has at least guaranteed that he will spend the rest of the prime of his career in LA, where he hopes to lead the franchise to their first NBA title.
The focus now shifts over to the pending decision that his teammate Kawhi Leonard has ahead with his potential free agency next offseason.
Is Kawhi Leonard next?
The LA Clippers can move forward at the very least with the comfort that Paul George is under a lengthy contract.
The next pivotal move will lie with getting Kawhi Leonard signed to an extension before he hits free agency next summer. Leonard is in the second year of his three-year, $103.1 million deal, which includes a roughly $36 million player option for the third year.
There hasn’t been any clarity as of yet regarding what his plans are for his contract situation. Leonard will likely remain publicly quiet regarding the matter as he may elect to wait until next offseason to make his decision. The option of free agency is a powerful tool that he can leverage in his favor that could see other possible intriguing options present themselves.
Leonard has expressed his happiness with playing in LA on several occasions, but beyond that, it’s hard to gauge the situation. Only time will tell whether the two-time NBA champion will secure his long-term future with the Clippers.