Kawhi Leonard turned down $39 million in an eyebrow-raising move that sets big stakes for the Clippers and free agency in 2021

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In a surprising move, Kawhi Leonard has taken a shorter contract with the Los Angeles Clippers.

According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, Leonard is signing a three-year $103 million contract with the Clippers, with a player option for the third year.

Initial reports following Leonard’s move to the Clippers said Leonard would sign the four-year $142 million max contract with the Clippers.

The move marks the third time in two years that Leonard has turned down money on future contracts. Leonard would have been eligible for the five-year $221 million “supermax” contract with the San Antonio Spurs had he stayed there. It’s unclear if the Spurs ever offered the deal in an attempt to convince Leonard to stay. It seems likely that he would have signed it if the two sides never had a falling-out.

In free agency this summer, Leonard could have signed a five-year $190 million contract with the Toronto Raptors. He instead chose to leave Toronto.

Now, Leonard has signed a short-term deal with the Clippers that accomplishes two things: flexibility and the chance to recoup some money.

ESPN’s Bobby Marks said that if Leonard opts out after two years, the Clippers won’t have his full Bird Rig

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