This is all about the money.
Kawhi Leonard officially signed his Clipper contract on Wednesday and it is a 2+1 deal max deal, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic.
(Charania has good ties to the Leonard camp, no doubt this is accurate.)
This isn’t about Leonard and George switching teams in 2021, necessarily, it’s simply a good business decision. Right now Leonard’s max is 30 percent of the salary cap, however, in two years he hits 10 years of service and can get up to 35 percent of the salary cap. Right now that’s roughly projected to be a four-year, $196 million contract. Both George and Leonard will be eligible for that. They both want to get the bag. It’s that simple.
Steve Ballmer can afford those deals and the tax that comes with them (especially if he can get his new Clippers arena built in Inglewood near the soon-to-be-completed Rams stadium). Will they want to change teams in two years? Good luck projecting that far out. It’s on the table, but who knows what the landscape of the NBA will look like in 2021.
The bottom line for the Clippers: For the next two years they are contenders.
They will worry about breaking out the checkbook to keep it rolling when the time comes.