When Blake Griffin signed a five-year extension with the Clippers last July, the contract, which begins next season, was widely reported as a $95MM deal. That number likely won't end up being quite accurate, but it gives an indication of the sort of contract the two sides agreed upon.
While Griffin and James Harden both signed "maximum-salary" contracts, Harden's extension was reported to be worth around $80MM. So why the difference between the two deals? We can assume the Clippers agreed to a max contract with Griffin that will pay him 30% of the salary cap, rather than the 25% typically permitted for players with his and Harden's experience. As Larry Coon explains in his CBA FAQ, a player is eligible to sign for that 30% rookie scale extension if he meets one of the following criteria in his first four seasons: (1) Wins a Most Valuable Player award; (2) Voted an All-Star Game starter at least twice; (3) Named to an All-NBA team at least twice.
When it was announced last night that Griffin had been voted a Western Conference All-Star starter, it was the second straight year he'd achieved that honor, officially making him eligible for the 30% max.
As for Griffin's specific salary, we won't know that until July. Maximum salaries are determined based on the NBA's BRI (basketball related income), which isn't calculated until after the season. However, Derrick Rose and Russell Westbrook, who signed five-year rookie scale extensions that began this season, provide examples of the difference between a 30% max salary and a 25% max salary -- Rose, who qualified for 30% after being named NBA MVP in 2010/11, will earn $94,314,376 on his five-year deal with the Bulls, while Westbrook's contract with the Thunder, for the standard 25%, will pay him $78,595,310.
Assuming maximum salaries continue to increase at the same rate they did this past season, Griffin's 30% max contract should earn him somewhere in the neighborhood of $100MM over his next five years with the Clippers.
We don't focus a whole lot on covering day-to-day injuries at Hoops Rumors, but we do keep tabs on the more serious injuries or issues affecting star players. In those cases, a team is more likely to explore a roster move to bring in a replacement player. Here's the latest on a handful of injuries from around the league:
Dwight Howard engaged in a post-practice interview with the local media, admitting that he's "still trying to get his legs up and get in some shape" and also elaborating about the different options on offense that he has with his new Lakers teammates. In response to recent comments made by Shaq about being subordinate to Andrew Bynum and Brook Lopez, Dwight replied, "I don't care what (he) says...He's done. He's gone. It's time to move on." (Dave McMenamin of ESPN reports). Ken Berger of CBS Sports further discussed the chance for Howard to put his recent past in Orlando behind him through his new challenge in Los Angeles. Here's what else is brewing out of the Pacific Division tonight...
Here's some general news and notes from around the league.
Blake Griffin recently spoke to Arash Markazi of ESPNLosAngeles.com and appeared on Fox Sports Radio to discuss his rehabilitation from last month's arthroscopic surgery, the Clippers' offseason moves, and his thoughts on the team's open general manager position. Here are a few of Griffin's notable comments, courtesy of ESPNLA and Sports Radio Interviews....
On his own recovery:
The surgery wasn't one of those things that took a long time (to recover from). It was just a matter of getting my strength back and we really took our time with it. I could have been back even earlier than that. I just needed to get the swelling out of the knee. That was the biggest battle. There's nothing that needs time to repair or heal. It was just reducing the swelling and getting the strength back in my leg and once I got that, I was out on the court every day."
"I talked with Chris yesterday and I think he'll be back for sure before the start of the season. Chauncey, I'm not sure. He looks great. He's been in working out and I've seen him the past couple days. He looks really good. He looks like he's ahead of schedule but at the same time, it's not worth it to rush it for him because we do have guys who can fill that void until he is 100% healthy."
On the Clippers' summer additions:
"I was very excited about them. A lot of the guys, we picked up Jamal Crawford, Lamar Odom and all of those guys are going to be great for us. Got a nice mix of veterans and guys that have a lot of experience winning games in the playoffs so I think that will be great for our young guys, myself included to kind of learn from them."
On the offseason moves by L.A.'s "other" team:
"It's huge for L.A. basketball. It's great for the Lakers and great for the NBA in general to have all those players on the same team. It's going to be fun to play against them and I'm looking forward to playing against them. It's going to bring a lot of excitement but they still have to play just like everybody else."
On Clippers director of player personnel Gary Sacks and the job he did this summer:
"He did an unbelievable job, Gary Sacks did, along with Coach [Vinny] Del Negro. I think they both kind of teamed up and I think we have a lot of respect for Gary. As far as the players go, we have a lot of respect for him and everything he’s been able to do. I know a lot of us are pulling for him to get that GM job and definitely hope he gets it."
Blake Griffin believes the Clippers have become a "free agent destination," and he thinks player personnel director Gary Sacks is the right man to pursue them from the GM's chair, according to comments he made to Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times. Sacks, along with team president Andy Roeser and coach Vinny Del Negro, have shared the GM duties since Neil Olshey jumped to the Blazers, but Griffin made it clear which one he wants to assume the job full-time. "With the moves that the front office made — and now with Gary Sacks, who hopefully steps into that GM role — that made it easy for me and I think this is the place where everybody wants to come," Griffin said. "I think Gary has a great relationship with all the players and the players like him. If he is finally named GM, I think that's just the icing on the cake of having a franchise that is complete." We've got more weekend rumblings right here:
10:15pm: Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times reports that the injury is a meniscal tear that will require arthroscopic surgery.
9:15pm: Yahoo's Marc J. Spears says that although Blake is done with the Olympics, he should be ready for training camp (Twitter link).
4:32pm: Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports tweeted earlier that Blake Griffin hurt his knee during a scrimmage with Team USA and will return to Los Angeles for further examination by team doctors. Just yesterday, Griffin signed a five-year maximum extension to remain with the Clippers.
Team USA officials have summoned Anthony Davis back to Las Vegas immediately to fill in as Griffin's replacement, according to Wojnarowski (via Twitter).
WEDNESDAY, 1:08am: The Clippers announced in a press release that Griffin has officially signed his contract extension. The deal will pay the forward the maximum salary allowed by the CBA.
TUESDAY, 11:34pm: Griffin's five-year deal will have an opt-out after year four, tweets ESPN.com's Marc Stein.12:29pm: The Clippers and Blake Griffin have "formally agreed" to a five-year, maximum-salary contract extension for the All-Star forward, reports Ken Berger of CBSSports.com (via Twitter). Griffin has one more year remaining on his rookie contract, so the extension will go into effect in 2013/14 and will keep him under contract until the summer of 2018. The deal can be officially signed when the moratorium ends.
We heard before free agency began that Griffin intended to sign a max extension with the Clippers. Because the deal is for five years, Griffin becomes the team's "designated player." For the duration of the contract, the Clippers cannot sign another player coming off a rookie contract to a five-year extension, though they could acquire a player that signed a similar five-year deal with another team.
According to Berger, the deal is worth $95MM over five years, but we'll have to wait to see exactly what the maximum-salary amount is in 2013/14 before determining the precise financial details. Additionally, as I explained earlier this year, if Griffin earns another All-Star start or makes another All-NBA team next season, he becomes eligible for a max deal worth 30% of the salary cap, rather than 25%. The $95MM figure is only attainable if Griffin is making 30% of the cap, so presumably the two sides agreed to that condition. But if the 23-year-old doesn't achieve at least one of those benchmarks in 2012/13, his maximum salary in 2013/14 would be 25% of the cap.
JULY 9TH: Griffin has been excused from Team USA practice today to take care of his contract extension, tweets Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports. Not that I'm accusing Griffin of playing hooky, but his extension can't become official until the moratorium ends, so it should still be a couple days before the deal is formally finalized.
JUNE 30TH: Blake Griffin has informed Clippers officials that he intends to sign a five-year contract extension with the team, reports Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com. Team president Andy Roeser will formally make the offer when rules allow at 11pm Central time tonight, Shelburne says. Griffin is unable to sign the extension until July 11, when the moratorium period ends.
The five-year extension, likely for the maximum amount, would make Griffin the Clippers' "designated player," meaning no other player coming off a rookie-scale contract would be allowed to be extended for five years as long as Griffin's extension is in effect. The Clippers would also be limited to trading for no more than one other designated player from another team during Griffin's extension. Griffin was "always going to be the Clippers' designated player," a source within the organization tells Shelburne, though there might have been a conflict had the team not traded Eric Gordon in the Chris Paul deal before the 2011/12 season.
Griffin could earn as much as $95MM over the course of the deal if he starts another All-Star Game, is named to another All-NBA team or wins the MVP next season under the so-called "Derrick Rose rule," which allows players that meet those criteria to receive 30% of the salary cap instead of 25%. The extension would kick in for the 2013/14 season. Griffin could opt out of the final year of the deal.