Culver City Observer -

Clippers Sign Griffin For Five Years, $173 Million

He’s Had Key Injuries But He’s Only 28


Anyone who thought the Clippers would fade away by losing exceptional point guard Chris Paul should think again.

Recovering quickly, the Clippers got Paul to sign a new Clipper contract for a few days before they’d trade him to Houston, the team he desired. Then they got three established players and a 2018 first round draft choice from Houston.

Don’t forget Paul didn’t have to do that. Free agents can simply sign with another team.

Then a few days later the Clippers signed forward Blake Griffin, who was also a free agent to the maximum he qualified for, five years for $173 million.

So the Clippers may be close to their annual goal next season of winning at least 50 games. They aren’t falling apart.

Consider that Paul is 32 and Griffin is 28. If they were going to choose between their two biggest stars the age difference was a major factor.

I’m going to repeat something I wrote recently. Steve Ballmer is an owner who puts winning first. He has no intention of sitting quietly if his team seems to be in trouble.

Paul will be missed but the Clippers now have Patrick Beverly and Lou Williams, the guards acquired from Houston, holdover Austin Rivers and Milos Teodosic from Serbia, who is highly regarded in international competition. The Clippers have given him a two-year contract for more than $12 million.

They also have 6-foot-5 rookie guard Sindarius Thornwell, the Southeastern Conference player of the year who stayed in college for four years, gaining experience many NBA rookies don’t have.

I’ve been hearing good things about him and he scored seven points in overtime to lead the Clippers to a victory over the Lakers last week in the summer league opening game.

The signing of Griffin means the Clippers will retain center DeAndre Jordan, who was rumored to be traded.

The Clippers parted with reliable veteran Jamal Crawford by trading him to Atlanta but acquired forward Danilo Gallinari. Another forward candidate will be Sam Dekker, acquired from Houston in the Chris Paul deal.

I give a high rating to the Clippers’ front office executives who are keeping the team competitive, even in a situation that could have been dismal, Coach Doc Rivers, EVP of basketball operations Lawrence Frank and newly-acquired consultant Jerry West.

The Clippers have beaten the Lakers in 18 oif their last 20 regular season meetings.

Will the Clippers be better than the Lakers again in the upcoming season? It’s too early to tell but the Clippers are doing all they can to make it happen.

Now let’s see what the Lakers can do in addition to acquiring point gurra Lonzo Ball.


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