The Clippers have made it clear that Blake Griffin is the cornerstone of their franchise, and they proved it on Tuesday, reaching an agreement with their star power forward on a five-year contract extension worth as much as $95 million.
The extension has been in the works for weeks. It could max out at $95 million if Griffin is voted to the NBA All-Star team, as he was this season, or is named to a second team All-NBA team, according to ESPNLosAngeles.com. The financial increase is part of the league’s so-called “Derrick Rose Rule” in the collective bargaining agreement, which allows a player finishing up his rookie contract to earn 30 percent of a team’s salary cap (up from 25 percent) if he is voted an All-Star starter twice, is voted to an All-NBA team twice or is an MVP.
Griffin’s extension begins with the 2013-14 season. As part of a new clause in the CBA, rookies can extend their contracts four years, although teams can designate one player to receive a five-year extension.
Griffin and point guard Chris Paul, who was acquired in a league-approved trade with the New Orleans Hornets before the start of the season, led the Clippers to a 40-26 regular-season finish and the second round of the playoffs, where they were eliminated by the San Antonio Spurs.
Since the end of the season, the Clippers have added forward Lamar Odom in a trade with the Dallas Mavericks and signed shooting guard Jamal Crawford to a three-year deal, although that signing hasn’t been made official.
Griffin, 23, recently was added to the roster of Team USA that will compete in the Summer Olympics in London.