Tuesday, July 10, 2012
Updated: July 11, 1:26 PM ET
Blake Griffin signs extension
By Ramona Shelburne
Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin signed a five-year contract extension, the team announced.
The extension had been expected as sources had told ESPNLosAngeles.com earlier this month that Griffin had informed team officials that he intended to sign an extension with the club.
Griffin could earn as much as $95 million over the course of the five-year extension if he is voted an All-Star starter again or named to a second All-NBA team next season under the so-called "Derrick Rose Rule" in the new collective bargaining agreement. The rule allows a player finishing his rookie contract to make 30 percent of a team's salary cap -- up from 25 percent -- if he's twice been voted an All-Star starter, twice been voted All-NBA or won an MVP award.
"Happy to officially sign my extension to (hashtag)clippernation for 5 more years. Can't wait. Thanks for all the support," Griffin tweeted.
Teammate Chris Paul retweeted Griffin and added, "Yessirrrrr CONGRATS BG!!!"
Under another clause in the new CBA, rookies may extend their contracts by four years. However, a team may designate one player to sign a five-year extension.
Griffin was always going to be the Clippers' designated player, according to sources within the organization. However, had Eric Gordon not been traded to the New Orleans Hornets last December as part of the Chris Paul trade, it might have created a problem.
With Griffin the only player on the Clippers' roster in line for such an extension and his place in the league firmly established -- he was the rookie of the year in 2011, as well as a two-time All-Star -- he received the designation.
Griffin's extension begins with the 2013-14 season. He would be able to opt out of the final season of the contract but is otherwise committed to the franchise through 2018.
He will earn $7.2 million next season.
Since drafting Griffin No. 1 overall in 2009, the Clippers have tried to surround him with a mix of talented young players and veterans that could help him succeed and the franchise win. That process accelerated last season when the Clippers acquired All-Star point guards Chris Paul and Chauncey Billups and signed small forward Caron Butler. The Clippers finished fifth in the Western Conference and advanced to the second round of the playoffs, where they were swept by the San Antonio Spurs.
The Clippers have added forward Lamar Odom and guard Jamal Crawford so far this summer.
"I feel good about them [the Clippers]," Griffin told ESPNLosAngeles last weekend at Team USA's training camp in Las Vegas. "Like I've said, everything's been positive. Everything's been moving forward. It's been a good experience. I'm not a believer in breaking up something that's working."
As for Paul, Griffin said he didn't read much into his decision to wait on signing an extension with the team.
"I didn't expect him to re-sign this summer," Griffin said. "I don't think anybody who knows anything about it did. But we'll work on that throughout the season."
Paul was eligible to sign a three-year, $60 million extension this summer. However, he can sign a five-year, $108 million extension next summer.
"I'll wait until next summer to decide everything," Paul told ESPNLosAngeles.com. "It's funny, ESPN doesn't put at the bottom of the ticker, like why you don't do the three-year. But I opted in for this year or I would've had the opportunity to do that again this summer."
Paul was referring to a decision he made to amend a provision in his previous contract that would've given him the opportunity to opt out after this season. The Clippers requested this before they agreed to a multiplayer trade for Paul with the New Orleans Hornets.
Paul agreed to amend his contract after initial discussions with former general manager Neil Olshey, who'd been given permission by the Hornets to speak with him before the trade was completed.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.