Kawhi intends to stay with Clippers: 'I'm here for the long run'
"I'm here," Leonard said during Clippers' media day Monday, courtesy of sports journalist Arash Markazi. "I'm here to be a Clipper. I'm not going to another team unless something drastic happens. I'm here for the long run."
Leonard, who is currently rehabbing from a partially torn ACL suffered last postseason, signed a four-year, $176-million contract to remain in L.A. this past summer. The two-time Finals MVP says his desire to try and play this campaign factored into his decision to sign for four years now instead of waiting for an even larger payday with a five-year maximum contract next offseason.
"I wanted to secure some money, and I wanted to be able to come back if I was able to this year. If I would have took the one-and-one, I probably would have not played just to be cautious and opted out into the five-year," Leonard said.
The Clippers enter the 2021-22 season with uncertainty surrounding Leonard's playing status. Team president Lawrence Frank recently said "no one knows" exactly when the All-Star forward will be able to return.
Leonard joined L.A. during the 2019 offseason after winning the second NBA title of his career as a member of the Toronto Raptors.