Kawhi Leonard and Chris Paul to go to free agency

According to Shams Charania (The Atheltic), both have rejected their player options. Most likely they will re-sign with their teams.


Major movements in the NBA. Both teams and players had until today to exercise or decline their contractual options, according to Shams Charania (The Atheltic), Kawhi Leonard and Chris Paul would have rejected theirs. Two player options that, respectively, amounted to 36 and 44.2 million dollars. In this way, according to the American journalist, both stars will enter the market as free agents without restrictions. Starting the next morning, in this way, they will be in a position to negotiate with any team in the competition; from August 6, likewise, they will be able to sign their signatures. Slavo surprise, it will be with his current teams: Los Angeles Clippers and Phoenix Suns. So says Adrian Wojnarowski (ESPN). In the case of the forward, according to Bobby Marks (ESPN), the new agreement could take two directions. On the one hand, accept 176.2 million for four years or, on the other, a 1 + 1 formula to be a free agent in 2022 and then sign 235 million for 5 years. In the base, there is talk of three seasons for 90 million.

In any case, whether to return to their current franchises (as expected) or not, Leonard and Paul represent the two most valuable stars in free agency. Always a small earthquake or, at the very least, some uncertainty in the best league in the world. In the case of Kawhi, the situation occurs in very special conditions. Unfortunately, the forward had to have cruciate ligament surgery in mid-July. With no return date, there are serious doubts that he will be able to participate in the next season. The recovery could extend from 6 months to the full year, as can be deduced from previous interventions. In the case of Paul, the stage is located after the defeat in the NBA Finals, in the best opportunity that, so far, he has had to get the ring. For this reason, after the fall was consummated, the rumors began to shoot. Many voices even pointed to the Los Angeles Lakers. The Los Angeles organization, however, finally, in a movement of great significance, have seized the services of Russell Westbrook.

In the global calculation, there have been many franchises that have appeared, but it does not seem that any change will take place. Kawhi Leonard, in December, already hinted that, in his mind, the roadmap was clear: "Obviously, if I am healthy, the best decision is to reject the player option, but that does not mean that I go or stay" he declared. Finally, neither the injury has changed his plans. Last week, likewise, the Los Angeles team, through its president of operations, Lawrence Frank, stated its intentions: "We hope to have a long-term relationship with him. Right now, our focus, like Kawhi's, is in his health. He underwent major surgery. He broke his anterior cruciate ligament. That will take a long time and we want to support him in that, "he said, in statements collected by ESPN.

In individual terms, both Kawhi himself and Chris Paul come off an outstanding campaign. The forward, who had to leave the courts in the fourth game of the Western Conference semifinals, against the Utah Jazz, has averaged 24.8 points, 6.5 rebounds and 5.2 assists in the regular season. In the playoffs, their figures soared (30.4 + 7.7 + 4.4), leaving memorable nights like those of the tie against the Dallas Mavericks. Together with Paul George, he left a feeling very different from last year, with the unknown of what would have happened without the unfortunate physical mishap. Paul, on the other hand, has registered a 16.4 + 4.5 + 8.9, being vital in the fast-paced rise of the Phoenix Suns. In the final phase, in which he had to deal with his shoulder problems, he combined nights for memory with an ill-fated final against the Milwaukee Bucks. In his case, re-signing with the Arizona franchise opens the doors to be able to earn more money than anywhere else, beyond the figures that are handled in the American press, due to his veteran status. Barring surprise, and regardless of the numbers, it is what it will do.

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