Storyline: Blake Griffin Free Agency

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The 31-year-old Paul and the 28-year-old Griffin will be seeking maximum-salary contracts, deals that would respectively start at approximately $35 million and $30 million annually. Redick, the 32-year-old who was recruited by Rivers not long after he arrived from the Boston Celtics in the summer of 2013, is sure to land a massive payday as well. Working projections peg the total at approximately $196 million in all, with $140 million in salaries and $56 million in luxury tax (and Redick, in that scenario, having a starting salary of approximately $18 million).

You guys have done a great job of not letting free agency become a distraction. With some teams, having one star approaching free agency can lead to a circus. This team has two, with you and Chris Paul both free agents this summer. With that said, it hasn’t seemed to be an issue or distraction. How have you maintained that? Blake Griffin: Honestly, our focus has just been on the season. And I know everyone uses that go-to answer, but it’s true. I can’t worry about a decision that I can’t make right now. We still have so much basketball left to play. The playoffs are about to start and this literally what we spent all last summer, the preseason and the regular season preparing for. We were preparing for this. To be focused on something else would be a travesty to the rest of my team, to my coaching staff, to our fans, to everybody. Those decisions and whatever happens in the summer will be there in the summer.

Have other players tried to recruit you at all? Because while you’re focused on this season, I know that does happen sometimes where guys from other teams will reach out. Without naming names, has anything like that happened? Blake Griffin: No, I haven’t had any conversations like that at all. Early on, I told everybody around me – agents, friends and family – that this isn’t something I’m going to be talking about and we’ll deal with it when the time comes. I think player-wise, I think everybody respects that you have a team and you’re focused on the season and all that.

After his 36 points carried the Clippers on Saturday, Griffin would not say whether he hopes to stay with the Clippers. “I’ve loved my time here, absolutely,” Griffin said. “But my main focus right now is the season. I said this before the season, I’m not doing the whole free agency talk. I’m not talking about any decision I can’t make right now. Like I said my main focus is getting this team right and moving forward and being right heading into the playoffs.”

5 months ago via ESPN

The Thunder aren’t naive about this. Finding that second star will be hard, especially in a teensy market. There is no sign Blake Griffin wants to come home, per several sources. Extensions for Adams and Oladipo have Oklahoma City capped out this summer even if they slough off Kanter’s deal; depending on what happens with Roberson in free agency, they might have to cut money from next season’s payroll just to duck the luxury tax. It’s unclear if they’ll even have meaningful room in the summer of 2018.
5 months ago via ESPN

As the Clippers prepare to depart for Oklahoma City and try to avenge their lone loss of the season, Blake Griffin brushed aside notions that those close to him would be recruiting the star power forward to play for his hometown team after the season. “People that I talk to and my friends and family from back home, I think they’re … I would say true friends and family, where they know that my main focus is this season and this team,” Griffin said after the Clippers defeated the Portland Trail Blazers 111-80 on Wednesday night. “And they know that I enjoy playing here and I love this team, coaching staff, everybody. So they know that that’s my main focus. So I think they pretty much know not to bring that up.”

Boston also expressed interest in Blake Griffin this summer, so it’s conceivable they’d have interest when he hits free agency. To be clear, those conversations were merely exploratory since the Clippers had no interest in retooling, per a league source. Gordon Hayward received interest from Boston in 2014 when he was a restricted free agent; Hayward and Brad Stevens also have unfinished business after experiencing a heartbreaking national championship loss at Butler. Beyond that, there is no star, max-level, unrestricted free agent available in 2017 that is both reasonably acquirable and enticing to the Celtics.

Blake Griffin tells SiriusXM NBA Radio free agency is not something he’s thinking about right now: “Honestly, nothing I even really think about. Haven’t had a conversation with anybody. That includes friends, family, agents, coaches, teammates… It’s not a conversation I have. I got a lot of basketball left to play this year. I got a full season, postseason… So that’s on the back on my mind. I’ll deal with that one when the appropriate time comes, but right now isn’t the time.”

Still, Rivers realizes those rumors could resurface in February if the Clippers aren’t faring well. No team wants to be put in Oklahoma City’s situation, in which it waits on a player to make a decision at the end of his contract only to be left with no compensation if he goes elsewhere. “Blake and CP are free agents and just like last year, Oklahoma had to deal with that — now it’s our turn,” Rivers said. “It’s been a sense of urgency since we’ve been there, in my opinion. And we haven’t followed through yet, and there’s another sense of urgency here. We’re not the only ones. Everyone has a sense of urgency.”

Jordan said there wasn’t any more urgency to win next season, simply because Paul and Griffin can both become unrestricted free agents in the summer of 2017. “They’re both extremely talented players,” Jordan told The Vertical. “I believe whatever decision they make is going to be a great decision. I’m not worried about it right now. I don’t expect it to be a distraction during the season. I can’t speak for them, but at the end of the day, they’ve got to make the best decision for themselves and their families. Whatever happens, happens.”

Thunder to pursue Blake Griffin?

Durant is deleted. Done and gone and no longer part of his world. “What’s next?” he 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.

During an appearance on The Vertical Podcast with Adrian Wojnarowski, Rivers stressed he intends to keep Griffin in Los Angeles and believes the Clippers could take another step forward with their current core. “Danny and I have talked twice this summer,” said Rivers, who controls Los Angeles Clippers personnel decisions in addition to his duties as the team’s head coach. “One (conversation) was about the British Open, and one was about another golf tournament. That’s about it.”

The benefits of playing in a small market like Oklahoma City — less glitz and glamour, fewer media responsibilities, an organization that has proved to be protective of its stars — would be canceled out for Griffin. For him, Oklahoma City would be like New York on steroids. This factor must be considered, especially since Griffin has a player option for the 2017-18 season. “I’ve seen him there; it’s like Michael Jackson walking around,” the person close to Griffin said.
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April 23, 2017 | 3:37 pm EDT Update