Clippers owner Steve Ballmer was reportedly willing to spend whatever it takes to keep Chris Paul and Blake Griffin. But the Clippers reportedly balked at giving Paul a five-year max contract, and now he plays for the Rockets.
The Clippers are still interested in re-signing Griffin, but has their commitment to him wavered, as well?
Lawrence Frank, via Sam Amick of USA Today:
“We look at (Griffin) as Clipper royalty,” Clippers executive vice president of basketball operations Lawrence Frank told USA TODAY Sports on Wednesday during a visit on the NBA A to Z podcast. “We’re going to do everything we can to try to keep Blake a Clipper.”
I don’t know where Frank fits into the pecking order anymore, with Doc Rivers as president/coach and Jerry West as consultant. But Frank is out here speaking for the organization.
How could Griffin accept anything less than a max contract, which projects to be worth $172 million over five years, after hearing that?
He’s still relatively young at 28, but his injury history poses risk. He reportedly could be out until December.
On the other hand, the Clippers would be a major talent deficit if they lose him. It might be worth paying Griffin the full max.
Of course, a five-year max offer doesn’t guarantee Griffin’s return. He’s an unrestricted free agent and could explore the market. But it’d go a long way, and the Clippers are at least talking as if they’ll take that step.