Kawhi Leonard and Chris Paul have both declined their player options for the 2021-22 season and will become free agents, according to The Athletic's Shams Charania.
Leonard, 30, will forego his option that would have paid him $36 million if he had accepted. According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, the expectation is that Leonard will negotiate a new deal to stay with the Los Angeles Clippers. The five-time all-star is expected to miss the majority of the 2021-22 season after undergoing surgery to repair a partially torn ACL.
Leonard averaged 24.8 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 5.2 assists in 52 regular-season games during his second season with the Clippers. He averaged 30.4 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 4.4 assists in 11 postseason games before sustaining his knee injury.
Paul, 36, declines an option worth $44.2 million in order to become a free agent. The 10-time All-NBA selection played in his first NBA Finals with the Phoenix Suns this past season.
The veteran point guard played 70 games with the Suns last season, averaging 16.4 points, 8.9 assists, and 4.5 rebounds. In 20 playoff games, Paul averaged 19.2 points, 8.6 assists, and 3.5 rebounds.
Free agency opens on Monday, Aug. 2 at 6 p.m. ET.