San Antonio Spurs News

San Antonio Spurs: A potential look at Kawhi Leonard’s contract extension

By Rob Wolkenbrod
SAN ANTONIO,TX - JANUARY 13 : Kawhi Leonard #2 of the San Antonio Spurs bows his head during the playing of the National Anthem before the start of his game against the Denver Nuggets at AT&T Center on January 13, 2018 in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that , by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images)
SAN ANTONIO,TX - JANUARY 13 : Kawhi Leonard #2 of the San Antonio Spurs bows his head during the playing of the National Anthem before the start of his game against the Denver Nuggets at AT&T Center on January 13, 2018 in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that , by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images)
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If the San Antonio Spurs give Kawhi Leonard a contract extension this summer, it could pay him nearly $50 million per season by its end.

For all the drama around the San Antonio Spurs and Kawhi Leonard’s right quadriceps, there’s a looming contract extension for him this summer. That presents a situation that could make or break his future in the Alamo City, especially if he wants to get the money sooner rather than waiting until after the 2018-19 season.

A potential contract extension would pay Leonard over $200 million, placing him in Stephen Curry and James Harden status. These players received $200-plus million extensions from their respective teams in the 2017 offseason.

ESPN’s Bobby Marks laid out the year-to-year salary for Leonard under a super max contract. By 2023-24, the San Diego State product would make a shade under $50 million, an absurdly high mark for any contract in professional sports.

Here is what a super max extension would look like for Kawhi Leonard this summer:

19/20 $37.8M20/21 $40.8M21/22 $43.8M22/23 $46.9M23/24 $49.9M

The numbers certainly jump out at you.

— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) March 31, 2018

These numbers would obviously engulf more of San Antonio’s cap space by the year, especially if the $49.9 million figure stands in 2023-24. That crosses the halfway mark of the 2017-18 NBA salary cap. That number will change in five years, but still consume at least 40 to 50 percent of the organization’s cap space.

It’s a situation that could limit the Spurs’ flexibility in free agency, especially as LaMarcus Aldridge’s extension takes up its part of the cap. Will they commit two sizeable contracts to foundational players?

Next: Top 25 players in Spurs history

Money will be one of the multiple storylines that surround Leonard this offseason — if he stays. Will the Spurs make him the NBA’s next super-max player?

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