Blake Griffin, the Clippers superstar, is likely to re-sign with Los Angeles next year when he enters free agency, per several sources.
In recent weeks, there have been several reports linking Griffin to hometown franchise Oklahoma City Thunder, where Russell Westbrook has made a three-year commitment.
According to Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders, Griffin isn’t going anywhere and expects to make a long term commitment to the Clippers, and could possibly sign a contract extension ahead of schedule.
Blake Griffin set to re-sign?
“Sources close to Griffin have been adamant that he is planning to re-sign in L.A. and that he’s not open to going anywhere. Clippers president and head coach Doc Rivers has mirrored that, saying he believes Griffin retires as a Clipper,” Kyler reported on Tuesday.
Needless to say, the coming season could be the most crucial in Clippers history. Besides Griffin, Chris Paul and J.J. Redick are also approaching free agency, leaving the franchise in a precarious position. Unless the Clippers win the championship this coming season, there is reason to believe that the stars could pursue greener pastures.
However, Clippers coach Doc Rivers, who also serves as president of basketball operations, recently told The Vertical podcast that he expects both Paul and Griffin to not only re-sign next year, but finish their careers with the Clippers.
“I think we’re in a good place. I know both of them (Griffin and Paul) have said they want to play here. They want to play for us forever,” Rivers said recently while addressing his team’s uncertain future.
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Ruling out possible trades…
Kyler also ruled out the possibility of Rivers trading either Paul or Griffin. “Sources close to the situation say win or lose, Rivers is not open to trade talks on Griffin or Paul and that he’s not worried about either walking away in July,” wrote Kyler.
“The only scenario in which that becomes remotely plausible is if the Clippers just fall apart and even the harshest critics would struggle to make a case of that being likely,” added Kyler, suggesting that a disastrous season for the Clippers could force the hand of Rivers to either trade his stars of prepare for a future without them.
Last month, several reports hinted that the Boston Celtics, in possession of a chest of draft picks, are preparing to make a hard push for Griffin. However, Rivers shot down those rumors. “Danny (Ainge) and I have talked twice this summer. One was about the British Open and one was about another golf tournament. That’s about it.”
Will Blake Griffin go the Russell Westbrook way and sign an early extension?