In the wake of Chris Paul leaving the Los Angeles Clippers for the Houston Rockets, concern was plentiful that superstar Blake Griffin might follow suit. Instead of going elsewhere, the Clippers and Griffin agreed on a five-year maximum contract worth $175 million.
Griffin started his NBA career as a human highlight reel full of incredible dunks and All-Star caliber showmanship. While his career has been somewhat plagued by injuries, he's stayed not only a superstar, but also become one of the most skilled power forwards in the league. His game has evolved to add a shooter's touch, he's not afraid to take, and can hit the long ball from time to time and with the offense no longer revolving around Paul, Griffin's numbers should increase with the added responsibility.
The news of this signing couldn't come at a better time for Clippers fans. Just prior to July 1, Griffin opted out of the final year of his contract with the team to possibly test the free-agent waters. With fans assuming Paul and Griffin might be joined at the hip, it looked like the team was headed for a massive collapse when reports surfaced Griffin planned to meet with other teams and explore his options. If that had happened, Paul was gone, Griffin was out and Jordan was in all likelihood headed to another destination as well — potentially the Lakers. In a surprising turn of events, what the fans received instead of a series of disappointing announcements was jubilation.
Even though Paul moved on, the team received some decent pieces in return. Along with the new organizational depth, Griffin then decided to stay put and help usher in a new era for the Clippers. He'd team with center DeAndre Jordan and form a new one-two punch. Other possible moves began bubbling up to the surface.
Rumored to be on the horizon is a three-team deal that might bring Danilo Gallinari to the franchise. Gallinari is a proven scorer, who averaged 18.2 points on 44.7 percent shooting from the field and 38.9 percent from beyond the arc in 2016-17. And, now that an offense first point-guard spot has opened up, Rajon Rondo also has some apparent interest in the Clippers.
Hearing Rajon Rondo would be interested in the Clippers. He likes Los Angeles. Also, he has friends on the team and history with Doc Rivers.— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) July 2, 2017
These new pieces potentially falling into place could be a turning point for the Clippers franchise. Instead of having to rebuild, they can turn the assets brought back in the Chris Paul trade, center their offense around Jordan and Griffin and add key ingredients in positions of weakness.
The Clippers are doing everything possible to remain a contender in the Western Conference. Re-signing Blake Griffin is the first of many potential moves.
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