The Los Angeles Clippers have agreed to re-sign unrestricted free agent power forward Blake Griffin to a contract worth $173 million over five years
. The contract cannot officially be signed until the end of the NBA’s moratorium period on July 7th.
Shams Charania of The Vertical broke the news on Friday night:
Blake Griffin plans to reach agreement on a five-year, $173 million deal with the Los Angeles Clippers, league sources tell The Vertical.
Griffin finished meeting with the Clippers and sides finalized a five-year, maximum contract, league sources tell The Vertical. https://t.co/MjYJjY4wKf
Blake Griffin Agrees to Five-Year Contract With Los Angeles Clippers
Griffin’s contract will take him through the end of the 2021-22 season.
Griffin is arguably the best power forward available in this year’s free agency crop. The All-Star power forward averaged 21.6 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 4.9 assists per game last season for the Los Angeles Clippers. These numbers are consistent with Griffin’s career averages of 21.5 points, 9.4 rebounds, and 4.1 assists per game. There is no question that Los Angeles knows what it’s getting with Griffin, particularly on the offensive end of the floor.
The multi-talented Griffin has the versatility to blend seamlessly into a variety of offenses. He is a solid post-up player, excels in pick-and-roll situations, and has improved his jump shot proficiency tremendously over the last couple of seasons. In 2016-17, he also presented a viable three-point shot threat. He attempted nearly two three-pointers per game and shot a respectable 33.6 percent on them. Griffin’s ability to get down and dirty in the paint and spread the floor will be even more crucial to the Clippers with fellow star Chris Paul now gone.
In addition to being a proven scorer, Griffin is a proficient playmaker. He is the only player taller than 6’8” to average nearly five assists per game. Griffin’s speed, court vision, and passing ability will continue to benefit the Clippers immensely, particularly in transition.
A potential downside of acquiring Griffin is his often uninspired performance on defense. Despite his agility, athleticism, and imposing physical strength, Griffin is not very effective at stopping opponents from scoring in the paint. He’s also never been a shot blocker (career-high of 0.7 per game in 2011-12; career low of 0.4 per game in 2016-17), a result of his relatively unimpressive wingspan (just under 7’0″).
Another risk with Griffin lies in his questionable durability. Griffin has missed 26.4 percent of his potential regular season games since he entered the NBA due to injury. The All-Star’s early exit from the Western Conference Playoffs in 2015-16 (hamstring) and 2016-17 (toe) proved fatal to L.A.’s bid for an NBA championship. He’ll have to stay healthy for the Clippers to contend next season, especially with Paul now playing in Houston.