Blake Griffin, the Los Angeles Clippers forward, is leaning towards joining Oklahoma City Thunder in free agency next year, per several league sources.
Griffin, a native of Oklahoma City, was always expected to consider Thunder as a possible destination. However, Russell Westbrook’s decision to sign an extension with the Thunder has doubled the chances of Griffin returning to his hometown next year.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical, the Thunder organization had spoken to Westbrook about pursuing Griffin next year before re-signing the athletic guard to an extension.
“Durant is deleted. Done and gone and no longer part of his world. “What’s next?” he (Westbrook) asked – and the Thunder connected with Westbrook on a plan to construct their next act. Once, it was James Harden and Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook.
“Now, it’s a superstar solo act – with an eye upon Los Angeles Clippers All-Star forward Blake Griffin in 2017 free agency. Griffin is an Oklahoma kid gone Hollywood, a star who has his own tensions with Chris Paul on the Clippers,” Wojnarowski wrote on Yahoo Sports earlier this week.
Westbrook To Recruit Blake Griffin
Wojnarowski also added that Westbook would look to become a recruiter next summer and try to add fellow all-star talent to chase his dream of beating the Golden State Warriors. “For now, this is Westbrook’s chance to become a recruiter, a gatherer, and bringing back Griffin could make these Thunder a legitimate threat to Golden State in the Western Conference.”
With the salary cap rising north of $100 million next summer, the Thunder should have enough room to sign Blake Griffin to a maximum contract.
According to Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders, the Clippers would look to blow up their squad if they don’t get past the hump in next year’s playoffs. With Griffin, Chris Paul and J.J. Reddick set to become free agents in 2017, the feeling within the organization is that the coming season is the last roll of the dice.
Kyler also explored the possibility of Clippers trading Griffin if the power forward made his intentions clear about not wanting to re-sign with Los Angeles next year.
Blake Griffin is coming off a forgettable season that saw him miss nearly 50 games due to injuries and a four-game suspension for brawling with an employee of the organization.