Kawhi Leonard and Chris Paul have both opted to enter free agency.
Both Los Angeles Clippers star Kawhi Leonard and Pheonix Suns veteran Chris Paul have opted to enter free agency ahead of Monday’s 6:00 PM ET start time. Despite declining their respective contract options, both players are expected to return to their former teams after negotiating new deals.
“Multiple teams I’ve spoken with have said the message from Phoenix is abundantly clear that Chris Paul will re-up with the #Suns and therefore have little reason to pursue him in FA — despite the immense interest CP would command,” ESPN’s Jordan Schultz reported on Twitter.
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Paul joined the Suns in 2020 and was set to make $44,211,146 for the 2021-22 season. With the Suns, Paul led Phoenix to the team’s first NBA Finals appearance since 1992-93.
As for Leonard, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski says the superstar turned down his $36 million salary for the 2021-22 season, but also will likely return to L.A.
“Kawhi Leonard has declined his $36M player option for next season and becomes a free agent, per source,” Woj tweeted. “Now, the expectation is that Leonard will negotiate a new deal to stay with Clippers.”
Now being a 10-year veteran, Leonard will be eligible for the 35 percent max extension worth at least $39,344,970 per season.