With a year left on his rookie contract, and facing the possibility of Blake Griffin testing the waters as a restricted free agent next offseason, Griffin and the Los Angeles Clippers have agreed on a 5 year contract extension potentially in the region of $95 million. Under the “Derrick Rose rule” if Griffin is again voted an All Star starter or named in an All NBA team he can be eligible for a bigger max contract (30% of the cap as opposed to 25%).
Another new rule was that players coming off rookie contracts are eligible for a 4 year extension, except one designated player who can be extended for 5 years. Griffin has been selected as this designated player by the Clippers, which makes sense as he is their second best player and the only player of consequence on his rookie deal at the moment. The extension is set to kick in for the 2013-2014 season.
Having locked Griffin down for the foreseeable future, and following the acquisition of veteran role players Lamar Odom and Jamal Crawford in free agency, the only (and most important) task left for the Clippers front office is to lock down their franchise point guard Chris Paul. He is eligible to receive a 3 year $60 million contract extension this offseason, but Paul has declined this option as he will be eligible to receive as much as the 5 years and almost $100 million received by Deron Williams this offseason if he hits free agency.
With today’s move to keep Griffin in the fold for the long haul however, the Clippers appear in good position to be able to keep Paul next offseason.