When Chris Paul left, the Clippers had two choices. Tear it all down and start a long, difficult rebuilding path that has no guarantees. Or, re-sign Blake Griffin, run the offense through him with shooters all around him plus DeAndre Jordan, be decent and try to rebuild something on the fly.
The Clippers have chosen the latter, and with a five-year max contract Blake Griffin is on board. Sam Amick of the USA Today broke the news and has the details.
It may be only $172.3 million, depending on the cap, but you get the idea. Multiple other sources confirm this, with Brad Turner of the LA Times adding some detail.
Owner Steve Ballmer didn’t want to rebuild — and didn’t want to lose the No. 1 pick that helped turn the Clippers franchise around — so he ponied up to make this happen. The Clippers are not going to be as good without Chris Paul and J.J. Redick (who is all but gone), but this could be a decent team, around .500. Griffin is an underrated passer and playmaker who can operate up top — not unlike Nikola Jokic in Denver — and recent additions such as Patrick Beverley and Lou Williams are shooters who can help. Sam Decker and Montrezl Harrell are nice young players who can fit with that, as will Austin Rivers.
The Clippers have salvaged something decent, which gives them a chance to take a deep breath, look at what they have, and build from there.