Kawhi Leonard has, as expected, opted out of his contract with the Los Angeles Clippers. However, it doesn’t sound like he’s seriously considering going anywhere else.
Leonard informed the Clippers that he is declining his $36 million player option for 2021-22. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, however, the expectation is that Leonard will still negotiate a new deal with the Clippers instead of looking elsewhere.
Kawhi Leonard has declined his $36M player option for next season and becomes a free agent, per source. Now, the expectation is that Leonard will negotiate a new deal to stay with Clippers. @ChrisBHaynes first on declining option.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) August 1, 2021
There had been some speculation that Leonard would consider leaving the Clippers . That still appears to be unrealistic. Leonard chose the Clippers after a substantial courtship in 2019 and went out of his way to recruit Paul George to play with him. It would be strange for him to walk away from that situation just two years after putting it together.
Leonard averaged 24.8 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 5.2 assists per game for the Clippers last season. He’s at risk of missing part of the 2021-22 season after undergoing knee surgery in July.