Clippers Offer Griffin and Paul Extensions


Its July 1st, so give this man $95 million, and you can have $60 million.

As it stood in June, Blake Griffin was the sixth highest paid player on the Clippers. In 2012, he made $5.7 million; that is less than Dasagna Diop, and almost exactly the same as Luke Walton. That’s less than franchise player minimum wage.

But July 1st is the first day of NBA free agency, and according to the LA Times Griffin has agreed to a 5 year max contract extension worth $95 million. He can’t actually sign the deal until July 11th, when the 10-day moratorium on signings ends.

However Chris Paul reportedly is turning down a 3-year deal worth $ 60 million.

"For Paul, who will earn $17.7 million next season in the last year of his contract, waiting to sign an extension after next season was a better financial decision, said a person close to the point guard."

"Paul, who came to the Clippers in a trade before last season, can sign a five-year, $108-million extension with the team in July 2013."

Even if that is true, its possible that the VP of Basketball Operations Neil Olshey’s departure to Portland had something to do with Paul’s decision. Olshey worked out the deal to bring Paul to the Clippers, and Pual was very involved with Olshey building the team as presently constructed. After the Clippers got swept by the Spurs, Paul called Olshey to apologize, and start planning for next season.

Olshey was the first one to bounce from the historically awful franchise, and it looked like that might be the first building block removed which would bring the entire franchise crashing back down to the ground.

Its astounding that after the 2012 season its come to the point that Griffin and Paul would even accept offers to stay with the Clippers franchise. The general sentiment when Griffin was drafted was, “Poor guy. He’ll have to wait out his first contract before he finally becomes a free agent and can move to a winning team.”

Regardless if Paul accepts his five-year extension next season, is it really that wise for the Clippers to spend so much money on a player like Griffin who puts himself at such a high risk for a traumatic injury every game? He missed all of his first season with a knee injury, and was a little hobbled during the playoffs.

He has been pretty healthy and consistent the last two seasons, but it is a huge risk to sign a player to a huge contract like that who is at risk for injury, and whose offensive game still has a long way to go for development. But not signing him, would have been even more of a typical Clippers blunder.