JULY 18: With the Clippers having taken care of most of their other offseason business, Griffin has finally made his new deal official, according to the NBA’s transactions log.
JUNE 30: Forward Blake Griffin will remain with the Clippers, Shams Charania of The Vertical tweets. After cancelling meetings with the Suns and Nuggets, Griffin has come to agreement with the Clippers on a five-year deal worth the maximum salary, putting the overall value of the deal in the neighborhood of $173MM.
The two parties apparently finalized a five-year max deal during their meeting and Griffin didn’t feel the need to entertain offers from any other ball clubs. As Chris Mannix of Yahoo Sports explains, such a deal was likely so long as the Clippers were willing to fully commit to the 28-year-old power forward.
Per Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times, the Clippers pulled out all the stops in their meeting with Griffin and the forward was impressed. The meeting included what Turner describes as a “museum of Blake,” a recap of all the different parts of life that Griffin has experienced with the franchise, essentially.
With Chris Paul now out of the picture, this will mark the first time since his rookie year that Griffin is the focal point of Los Angeles’ offense. This, ESPN’s Jeff Goodman implies, could have increased the likelihood of a deal.
Despite the trade of Paul and the probable departure of J.J. Redick, the Clippers don’t appear to be ready to enter rebuilding mode. The club’s haul in its deal with the Rockets included multiple solid veteran players – Patrick Beverley and Lou Williams – and a pair of youngsters who could play rotation roles in Sam Dekker and Montrezl Harrell. If the club adds another veteran piece or two in free agency, it looks like a roster capable of contending for a playoff spot.
As we’ve laid out in our max salary projection chart, so long as the NBA’s most recent $99MM cap projection holds up, Griffin will make $29.7MM in 2017/18, gradually increasing up to $39.2MM in 2021/22. That’s a huge investment in a player who has battled injury issues for much of his career, but the former first overall pick is one of the game’s most talented bigs when he’s on the court, and the Clippers will keep him through the rest of his prime years.
According to Ramona Shelburne of ESPN, the deal will not include a no-trade clause.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.