Blake Griffin would be one of the most sought-after free agents next summer. However, Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers reckons the all-star forward could be a part of the organization for the rest of his career and have his jersey retired.
“Well, I’m confident, probably the same way they’re going to be able to keep their guys,” Rivers told The Vertical Podcast while addressing 2017 free agents Griffin and Chris Paul.
In years gone by, star players would inevitably leave the Clippers for greener pastures. However, Rivers, who also serves as the president of basketball operations, feels Steve Ballmer’s ownership has changed the stereotype.
Blake Griffin in L.A forever?
“I do think we have an attractive place. We have a new owner. It would be interesting if Steve Ballmer wasn’t the owner, I don’t know how confident I would be. With Steve, I’m extremely confident that we can keep both. You know, listen, winning is the key,” added Rivers, who became coach of the Clippers in 2013.
Rivers revealed that both Paul and Griffin have expressed their desire to remain in Los Angeles for the rest of their careers. “I think we’re in a good place. I know both of them have said they want to play here. They want to play for us forever,” said the former Boston Celtics coach.
Earlier this summer, the rumor mill was rampant about a possible trade that would send Griffin to Boston. However, Rivers has categorically denied the possibility. “We’re hoping Blake ends his career playing for the Clippers. Period. So when teams call, we say we have no interest,” said Rivers, who coached the Celtics to the 2008 NBA championship.
Dismisses Celtics rumors
In fact, Rivers went as far to reveal that Clippers haven’t been contacted by any team about a possible Blake Griffin trade. “First of all, no team is calling right now because teams know we don’t have any interest (in trading Griffin). I had my young son trace where this started, the Blake rumor to Boston.
“Danny and I have talked twice this summer. One was about the British Open and one was about another golf tournament. That’s about it,” added Rivers, dismissing the rumor that was originally started by a radio show in Boston which merely suggested that the Celtics should try to trade for Griffin.
Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical had earlier reported that Oklahoma City Thunder, Griffin’s hometown franchise, believes they have a realistic shot at landing Griffin next year.
Blake Griffin had a forgettable season last year that was cut short by injuries and a suspension. A year before that, the star forward finished No. 3 in the MVP voting. Can he regain his form next season?