According to Ken Berger of CBS Sports, the Los Angeles Clippers and superstar Blake Griffin have come to terms on a 5-year, $95 million dollar contract extension.
Griffins contract will be under the new “Derrick Rose Rule” which allows a player finishing his rookie contract to make up to 30% of the teams salary cap (up from 25%) if he meets certain criteria (NBA MVP, All-NBA team twice, All-Star starter twice).
Under a new clause in the CBA, NBA rookies may only extend their contracts by 4 years. However, each team may designate one individual to receive a 5-year extension. Blake Griffin will clearly be that player for the Clippers.
Blake averaged a double-double of 20.7 points and 10.9 rebounds last season for L.A. He was also a big part of the Clippers highly successful playoff run in which the team won only their 2nd playoff series since the franchise moved from San Diego.
Grade for Clippers: B +
Despite the presence of Chris Paul (who may be on his way out at the end of next season) on the roster, Blake Griffin is without a shadow of a doubt the cornerstone of the Clippers franchise.
He’s going to be the guy the Clippers build around for the next 5 years and beyond. Management has already begun adding new faces to the roster in Lamar Odom and Jamal Crawford to assist Blake in taking this team to the next level which is hopefully an NBA Championship.
As a skeptic of Griffins game for quite a while now, I wonder if $95 million dollars is a tad too much for a player who is fairly one-dimensional in his approach to the game. It’s confusing to see a guy like Griffin make that kind of money while Kevin Durant (leading scorer in the NBA) is working under a similar 5-year deal but for $10 million dollars less.
Blake is arguably one of the most athletically gifted specimens in the game today, but he’s gotten away with using just his god-given attributes and talent for quite a while now. He’s not much of a shooter (52% from the free-throw line in 2012) and he’s shown little improvement in his ability to create opportunities for himself when his back is to the basket.
The scary thing is, if Griffin is putting up those kind of numbers without much fundamental basketball skills, just imagine what he could be capable of 2-3 years down the road after working on certain aspects of his game (i.e shooting, creating shots, post-moves etc.)
Los Angeles had to make this deal. Some may feel that they overpaid for Griffin (I do), but for a player who single-handedly rejuvenated a franchise that was considered by many to be the biggest joke in the sport for the past decade, money can’t be an issue.
Blake Griffin needs to remain with the Clippers for the long-term.
That he will.
Christopher Walder is a sports blogger and lead editor for Sir Charles in Charge. You may follow him on Twitter @WalderSports