WATCH: Kawhi Leonard’s Insane Circus Shot vs Jazz in Preseason Opener Suffers an Unfortunate Fate

Published 10/09/2023, 2:32 AM EDT

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USA Today via Reuters

After months of absence, the NBA preseason is now in full swing. It all began with the Dallas Mavericks facing off against the Minnesota Timberwolves in Abu Dhabi. Following those two games, teams are now testing their rosters back in the United States. In a recent matchup, the Los Angeles Clippers squared off against the Utah Jazz. What made this game intriguing was the appearance of both Clippers’ stars, Paul George and Kawhi Leonard, on the hardwood.

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Despite several twists and turns during the game, the Clippers seemed to establish control early on. Despite Paul George’s relatively low production, they held a seven-point lead at halftime.

Kawhi Leonard hit an amazing circus shot

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Late in the second quarter, with the Clippers ahead by nine against the Jazz, Paul George drove to the basket after a Zubac screen. He attempted a layup but passed to Terance Mann, who fumbled the ball. Kawhi Leonard, seizing the opportunity, grabbed the loose ball, drew a foul, and attempted a shot for an “and-1” play. However, the referees did not consider Kawhi’s attempt as valid and registered the lay as just a foul. As a result, the Clippers shared the clip on social media with a hilarious take on the instance.

Despite trailing the Jazz by only seven points at halftime, the Clippers found themselves down by three after the third quarter. In the fourth quarter, they mounted a comeback effort, but it fell short as the Jazz emerged victorious with a final score of 101-96.

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For the Clippers, Nah’Shon Hyland scored 18 points, while Kawhi Leonard contributed 11. On the other side, the Jazz had four players who reached double-digit scoring.

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Kawhi is nearing an extension but is in no hurry

Kawhi Leonard has been eligible for an extension for a few months now. However, no new contract has been offered to him. When asked when LA Times questioned him about the same, Leonard expressed confidence that an extension would eventually be worked out for him. Furthermore, he radiates that he does not want to rush things as it doesn’t seem to be happening soon.

At 32, Leonard can become a free agent next summer if he declines his player option for the 2024/25 season, which is worth $48.8 million. For the current season, he is set to earn $45.6 million. 

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Should Leonard choose to sign an extension during the 2023/24 season, it would require him to decline his player option as part of the agreement. This path can potentially earn a higher salary for Leonard, provided he signs another max deal.

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Written by:

Saahil Dhillan

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One take at a time

Saahil Dhillan is an NBA Writer at Essentially Sports. He has been writing articles and blogs for 5 years now, including those for a sports brand that manufactures knee braces, for a Red Bull athlete in 2019 and for a documentary of an Ultra Running Coach in 2021. There’s plenty Saahil can write about why he likes basketball, having followed the NBA for more than 10 years, but he is most keen on picking out various offense/defense strategies, on/off-court decisions, roster changes in crunch time and other underrated key elements that leave an impact on the scoreboard.
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Edited by:

Sameen Nawathe

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