Ex-Teammate Lou Williams Reacts to Kawhi Leonard’s $152 Million Contract Extension, Calls Him “Poster Boy for Load Management”

Published 01/11/2024, 2:53 PM EST

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USA Today via Reuters

Kawhi Leonard had signed a max four-year $176.3 million contract with the Clippers in August 2021 with a player option for the final year. So, he was serving his final season with the team, with a player option for the 2024-25 season. The Clippers decided to extend his stay and the two parties recently agreed upon a three-year $152 million contract extension.

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While Kawhi has been dubbed as the poster boy for load management in the NBA because of his history of injuries and missing games, ex-Clippers teammate Lou Williams has a unique perspective on this take. Williams is confident that Kawhi was right in prioritizing load management over the years and trying to keep himself healthy.

Kawhi Leonard is healthier than ever

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Williams believes that Kawhi’s decision to put his health first helped him land the contract extension with the Clippers. “Maybe this entire time Kawhi was right. He’s been the poster boy for load management over the course of years and now look at him, he’s healthy, he’s playing 35 minutes a game, got a big, big bag. On the strength of that, maybe he was right the whole time about load management,” the former Clippers star says.

Moreover, Williams adds that despite the various narratives about Kawhi that have been thrown around, he has seen the man work “his a** off.” He asserts that Kawhi is extremely professional, and puts in the work like a robot. Most importantly, Kawhi knew his body and what he was going through. In the end, it paid off as this season, he has missed only four games so far unlike his previous years.

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A look at Kawhi’s unlucky years

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Kawhi missed the entirety of the 2021-22 season due to an ACL injury. The 2017-18 season was another unfortunate year for him, where he clocked in a mere nine games due to injuries that included a right quadriceps injury and a left shoulder strain. If we look at his stats, we see a wide range of inconsistency in his appearances. For instance, the former MVP has not appeared in more than 60 games in any season since 2017-18.

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‘The Klaw’ is finally getting the break he deserves this season. Having played 33 out of 37 games so far, the 32-year-old veteran is averaging 34.6 minutes per game. Moreover, he has been posting good numbers with averages of 24.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 3.5 assists. The Clippers are faring well, getting comfortable on the top of the Pacific Division. Kawhi’s prolonged stay could help the team get closer to their goal of becoming a Championship contender this season.

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Watch This Story- Kawhi Leonard Disregards Career-Best Stretch For Bigger Picture

Do you think the packed roster of the Clippers poses a threat to opponents this season? Or does it only work out on paper? Share your thoughts!

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Written by:

Tsuktibenla T Jamir

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Tsuktibenla T Jamir is an NBA author at EssentiallySports. Armed with a Masters in Journalism from the prestigious Delhi School of Journalism, this Nagaland native combines her academic prowess with her passion for the game to craft compelling narratives that bring the NBA to life. She finds immense joy in dissecting the journeys of the athletes who make the game larger than life.
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Edited by:

Ruth John

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