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Kawhi Leonard Sees His Contract Extension With Clippers As A “Chance” To Retain Paul George & James Harden

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Kawhi Leonard revealed he willingly accepted less than what deserved in the contract extension so that the Los Angeles Clippers could retain Paul George and James Harden within the roster.

As reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, Leonard inked a three-year, $153 million contract extension with the Clippers on Wednesday, although both him and George were eligible for a maximum extension of four years and $223 million this season.

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On the same night, the Clippers defeated Toronto Raptors 126-120 at the Crypto.com Arena. Leonard, who scored 29 for the night along with George, revealed after the match that he hopes accepting less than what he was eligible for still grants the Clippers a chance to keep George and Harden.

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“With the conversation that I have with them about it, I think for the most part everybody is coming back,” said Leonard. “So with me signing an extension, I think it gives us a chance to sign both of those players.”

“I think at that point I’m going to be 35,” the 32-year-old replied when asked about his thoughts on getting three years instead of four on the extension. “You’re going to see how I’m playing at that age. So I guess that’s the number.” [H/T ESPN]

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Paul George acknowledges Kawhi Leonard’s decision 

Wojnarowski’s sources also added that alongside Leonard, George has also been approached for a contract extension. The deadline for Leonard was until 30th June 30 to sign an extension, along with a $48.7 million player option for next season, same as George.

“I mean, absolutely,” George admitted that Leonard taking less that what he was eligible is factor for him to stay with the team. “You secure and lock in Kawhi. Definitely leaves the door open for myself, but very, very optimistic something will get done on my behalf, as well.”

James Harden, meanwhile, needs to wait until the NBA Finals to sign a new contract. The former Nets point guard was traded on 30th October, and has been a driving force for the team.

ALSO READ: Los Angeles Clippers extend Kawhi Leonard amidst availability doubts

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Saikat Banerjee
Saikat Banerjee
A wordsmith who indulges in the world of combat sports, Saikat is an MMA, boxing, and arm wrestling content writer at The MMA India Show and The Sports Room. Apart from combat sports, he also engages in Indian sports content at The Sports India Show. Currently pursuing an MBA from Jadavpur University, Saikat's other interests lie in motorcycling, working out, and travelling.
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