With free agency set to begin in just hours, some of the biggest names already seem to be off the market before it even opens up. Chris Paul opted-in to his contract and was traded to the Houston Rockets and now Paul’s former teammate Blake Griffin looks to be remaining in Los Angeles.
According to Shams Charania of The Vertical, Griffin plans to remain with the Clippers on a five-year, $173 million contract:
Blake Griffin plans to reach agreement on a five-year, $173 million deal with the Los Angeles Clippers, league sources tell The Vertical.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 1, 2017
There were always questions about whether Griffin would remain with the Clippers this offseason. When Paul was traded away to the Rockets it only served to bring up more questions as to Griffin’s future, but now it looks as if he will stay right where he is.
According to Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times, Griffin met with the Clippers brass and the two sides came to an agreement:
Blake Griffin met with Steve Ballmer, Doc Rivers, Jerry West today at Staples Center, "meeting went well. Expected to sign a deal."
— Brad Turner (@BA_Turner) July 1, 2017
Even though the Clippers lost their best player in Paul, they still have a solid team and Griffin will now be able to step up as the true leader of the franchise.
With Griffin, DeAndre Jordan, Patrick Beverley, Lou Williams, and Jamal Crawford the Clippers have some pieces to build around and they certainly won’t fall off the map assuming everyone stays healthy. Of course that’s a big if.
Griffin’s biggest problem has been his inability to remain on the floor. If he can figure out a way to stay healthy, the Clippers will remain a factor in the Western Conference. They may not be one of the elites, but the playoffs will still be a very real possibility.