Friday, July 2, 2010
Updated: July 8, 2:10 PM ET
Blake heads from Clippers to Lakers
By Chris Sheridan
LOS ANGELES -- The NBA champions have a new point guard: Steve Blake.
Blake told Portland radio station 95.5 FM that he agreed to a four-year deal on Friday. An NBA source said the deal is for $16 million. Blake turned down overtures from five other teams for a chance to play alongside Kobe Bryant and under coach Phil Jackson as Los Angeles goes for a three-peat next season.
Blake will earn a $4 million salary in each of the four seasons, with all the money guaranteed. He also earned $4 million last season when he played for Portland and the Los Angeles Clippers.
It remains to be seen whether he will emerge as the starting point guard ahead of Derek Fisher, who has not yet been offered a contract by the Lakers, a league source said.
Blake, a seven-year veteran who won a national championship at Maryland, was one of the few quality point guards available this summer in a frenzied free agent market in which the focus has been on the biggest names -- LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and Amare Stoudemire.
Many of the teams pursuing those max free agents also have a need at the point guard position, but Blake's signing means the pool of unrestricted available free agent point guards has now shrunk by one, leaving Raymond Felton (Charlotte) and Luke Ridnour (Milwaukee) as arguably the two best remaining players still on the market.
The Lakers will be Blake's sixth team after stints with Washington, Milwaukee, Denver, Portland and the Clippers.
Chris Sheridan is a senior writer for ESPN.com.