Robert Covington was acquired in a midseason trade by the Clippers and he’s going to be sticking around in Los Angeles.
Per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the 31-year-old Covington has agreed to a two-year extension worth $24 million with the Clippers instead of heading into free agency this summer. Under the CBA rules, a two-year deal for Covington is the longest one he could sign.
For Covington, this makes sense, as he gets to stay in Los Angeles and play for a team that should be a title contender next season. It also means skipping out on free agency in a summer where not many teams have cap space to use. Per Spotrac, only five teams — the Magic, the Pistons, the Spurs, the Pacers and the Trail Blazers — are projected to have cap space this summer. None of those teams are near the level of the Clippers with Kawhi Leonard returning next year after missing this entire season and Paul George hopefully at 100 percent.
Los Angeles, meanwhile, locks down a key wing who helps offer them lineup versatility alongside Leonard and Paul George. It also locks them in as not only a luxury tax team, but one of the most expensive teams in the league next season, if not the most expensive when the final bill comes do. And that’s with only 12 players under contract for next season as of now, assuming they pick up Ivica Zubac’s $7.5 million team option and Nic Batum picks up his $3.3 million player option.
That, though, is the benefit of having Steve Ballmer as an owner, who has more money than anyone else int he league and is someone willing to spend whatever it takes to maximize having an open championship window for Leonard and George.