Blake Griffin said he did not want to leave the Los Angeles Clippers and it looks like he will be the centerpiece of the franchise — and wrecking rims in L.A — for years to come.
The powerful and explosive power forward agreed to a five-year extension with the Clippers worth as much as $95 million if he is voted an All-Star starter again or named to a second All-NBA team next season under the so-called “Derrick Rose Rule” in the new collective bargaining agreement.
“I feel good about them (the Clippers),” Griffin told ESPNLosAngeles last weekend at Team USA’s training camp in Las Vegas. “Like I’ve said, everything’s been positive. Everything’s been moving forward. It’s been a good experience. I’m not a believer in breaking up something that’s working.”
The Rose rule allows a player finishing his rookie contract to make 30 percent of a team’s salary cap — up from 25 percent — if he’s twice been voted an All-Star starter, twice been voted All-NBA or won an MVP award.
Under another clause in the new CBA, rookies may extend their contracts by four years. However, a team may designate one player to sign a five-year extension.
Griffin was always going to be the Clippers’ designated player, according to sources within the organization. However, had Eric Gordon not been traded to the New Orleans Hornets last December as part of the Chris Paul trade, it might have created a problem.
With Griffin the only player on the Clippers’ roster in line for such an extension and his place in the league firmly established — he was the rookie of the year in 2011, as well as a two-time All-Star — he will receive the designation.
Griffin’s extension would begin with the 2013-14 season. He would be able to opt out of the final season of the contract but is otherwise committed to the franchise through 2018.
Since drafting Griffin No. 1 overall in 2009, the Clippers have tried to surround him with a mix of talented young players and veterans that could help him succeed and the franchise to win.