Robert Covington has agreed to a two-year, $24 million contract extension with the Los Angeles Clippers, according to a report from Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN on Thursday. Prior to signing his extension, Covington was set to become an unrestricted free agent.
Covington didn’t shy away from the fact that he wanted to return to the Clippers and the team’s president of basketball operations, Lawrence Frank, didn’t either, so the fact that they were able to agree to a contract before free agency isn’t totally surprising.
Now the Clippers’ luxury tax bill will jump from $17.8 million, which was already the third-highest in the NBA, to $54.9 million. And that’s before you factor in the new deal that’s likely coming to Nicolas Batum, who will also have the opportunity to test unrestricted free agency this summer.
If the Clippers re-sign Batum, they’ll have a wealth of wing depth behind Paul George and Kawhi Leonard and in today’s NBA, you can never have enough wings. That being said, Covington’s extension makes a Marcus Morris trade all the more likely. It’s not that Covington and Morris can’t play together; it’s that Morris isn’t as dynamic as Covington, or Batum for that matter, and his salary is their best shot at upgrading at point guard.
The Clippers acquired Covington and Norman Powell at the trade deadline in exchange for Eric Bledsoe, Justise Winslow, Keon Johnson, and the Detroit Pistons’ 2025 second-round pick. In 23 appearances for the Clippers this past season, Covington averaged 10.4 points, 5.1 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 1.2 blocks per game.