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.