The Clippers sign a 2-year contract worth $ 24 million with Robert Covington

the clipper blocked one of their off-season priorities by accepting a two-year extension with the striker Robert Covington Valued at $ 24 million, a person with knowledge of the deal not authorized to speak publicly confirmed Thursday.

Covington could have become an unlimited free agent this season, entering a market with a limited salary cap across the NBA, but by taking advantage of the rules that made him eligible for an extension, Covington will earn slightly more than he could have. earn from the non-taxpayer intermediate level exception.

Covington was acquired on February 4 in a deal with Portland which also earned the Clippers guard Norman Powell. While Powell, seen as a cornerstone of the franchise he plays alongside Kawhi Leonard Other Paolo Giorgio, fought a foot injury to stay on the pitch initially, Covington impressed the team by doing things both expected and not. A career three-point shooter with 36%, the 31-year-old, 6 feet and 7 winger, he shot 37.8% out of three with the Clippers. He set a three-point franchise record of 11 in a game against Milwaukee in April. A former selection of all NBA defense, his theft rate of 2.8% surpassed his career average and his helping defense and quick hands – teammate Nicolas Batum said they could bring to theft as cleverly as Leonard’s – they thwarted numerous drives past teammates.

But Covington also showed different aspects of his game than he was to start the season in Portland, with his effectiveness in leading past defenders closing in on him at the perimeter and scoring or finding an open shooter. Coach Tyronn Lue also noted that Covington’s driving with the ball was a pleasant surprise. He also made his way into the locker room, with Covington saying after his late-season defeat in April that his time with the Clippers, after the exchange, had been the most fun he’d had all season and that Lue’s energy. “It is simply contagious. “

“It’s great to have Cov, who is a proven vet, defensive versatility, I think you guys understand that,” said Lawrence Frank, president of the team’s basketball operations last month. “His team defense is when you watch him play, if you just watch him off the ball, that’s really the magic of him. And then one, he is not afraid to take three, and he does them in the league or above the average depending on the year “.

At the time, Covington said his off-season pick would be guided by one thing: something the Clippers, with Leonard and George back in health next season, might provide an opportunity to pursue.

“Everyone wants, eventually, they want to go and have a ring on their finger,” Covington said in April. “The main thing we do in all this time we play is to win a championship and that is my ultimate goal. I’m about to enter my 10th year and no one thought I’d be 10. They said I couldn’t make it two but I’m preparing to prepare for my 10th year so I’ve had a great career so far and I’ve made a name for myself and like I said I want to put myself in the best position to win a championship “.

In June, the Clippers will know if another long-armed striker, Nicolas Batum, will pick his player option for next season, but Batum also signaled an excitement over the Clippers’ potential next season last month.

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