NBA@2: Clippers/Griffin Agree on Extension
Sources confirm, as initially reported by Ken Berger of CBSSports.com, that Blake Griffin and the Los Angeles Clippers have “formally agreed” on a five-year extension.
HOOPSWORLD had previously noted that both sides had agreed to the maximum deal possible under the new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) and that it was just a matter of time before it became official.
Look for Griffin to sign early morning Wednesday, once the signing period kicks in.
Under normal terms, the most a player can sign for on extension with a team is for three additional seasons (four total including the current). The new rule allows for one player to be designated, off of a rookie contract, for five additional years (making the total six).
Additionally, as confirmed by the Clippers, the language in Griffin’s deal will allow for his salary to be the maximum available under the CBA. Under the current maximum for a player of Blake’s experience, that would be $74.3 million (starting at $12.9 million).
Should Griffin be named NBA MVP, get voted to the All-Star Game as a starter or selected to an All-NBA Team, he will qualify for what is loosely called the “Derrick Rose Rule.”
As such, Blake would be eligible for closer to $100 million in total salary, although the exact number won’t be known until the cap is set before next season.
It was a given that Griffin would take a Clipper offer. Has anyone in NBA history turned away that kind of money?
Instead Blake could have taken the team’s $9.4 million qualifying offer to become a free agent after this year but that was never a significant consideration. It’s not just the finances as he’s happy with his relationship with the team and the direction they’re headed.
The Clippers were always going to give Blake the maximum available. Expect an official announcement from the team soon after the league-wide moratorium ends.
Dr. Buss in Hospital
The Los Angeles Lakers released a statement that team owner Dr. Jerry Buss is currently hospitalized for dehydration.
According to Team Spokesman John Black, “In response to media inquiries and to dispel rumors and inaccurate reports, we’d like to state that Dr. Buss is in a local hospital where he is being treated for dehydration. He is recovering and is expected to be released soon.”
The HOOPSWORLD family extends it’s thoughts to the Buss family with hopes that Jerry is quickly back to full health.
Magic/Nets Talks at Key Stage
While closure would be appealing to many, Dwight Howard is still with the Orlando Magic.
Extensive talks with the Brooklyn Nets continue but to assume Kris Humphries would take anything less than a high-dollar, 3-4 year deal doesn’t make a lot of sense, even if he has the same agent as Howard (Dan Fegan). That’s not a small commitment.
A long list of teams are interested in partnering with the Nets and Orlando including the Charlotte Bobcats, Minnesota Timberwolves, Cleveland Cavaliers and Los Angeles Clippers (among others).
With numerous teams and free agents looking out for themselves, there may just be too many moving parts for the Nets to close out this mega-deal.
If they can’t, the window of opportunity for Howard and Brooklyn will close as the Nets reinvest in players like Brook Lopez and possibly Humphries to join a soon-to-be re-signed Deron Williams, Gerald Wallace and acquisition Joe Johnson.
Does that open up the door for the Los Angeles Lakers, Atlanta Hawks, Houston Rockets and Dallas Mavericks?
It does. Can the Magic even consider retaining Howard and to what end? Won’t he just sign next summer with the Mavericks or another suitor, even if it means for four years instead of five?
Often in negotiations a deal nears until a vulnerable spot is hit. Sides consider walking away and pursuing other options. In that moment, the deal either fails or consummates.
With the signing period starting officially on July 11th, that’s where the Howard saga sits – that in-between stretch that will likely determine his fate.
Brooklyn may still be the favorite but that candle has burnt down to just the wick in danger of flickering out.
The good news for all is that at some point – days or weeks from now – a decision will be made. Closure is something to look forward to regardless of destination.
Brandon Knight Growing as a Leader
The Detroit Pistons finished the season 10-games behind the eighth-seeded Philadelphia 76ers last season, 10th in the Eastern Conference. The Pistons are rebuilding after their impressive run to six straight conference finals.
One of their key building blocks is second-year Kentucky guard Brandon Knight, who averaged 12.8 points and 3.8 assists last season.
Knight, who was taken eighth by Detroit in the 2011 NBA Draft, missed out on summer league play as a rookie with the lockout.
Recently he spoke to HOOPSWORLD about playing in Orlando Summer League and taking on a bigger leadership role with the Pistons.
“I don’t think we had a definite leader last year,” said Knight, who hopes to step into that void.
HOOPSWORLD Team Salary Pages
The NBA’s fiscal year runs from July 1st to June 30th. Now that the 2012/13 year has begun, players have started the next season of salary. These numbers impact cap room, trade possibilities and general spending power.
So far 10 teams have been updated with the remaining 20 on the way.
The Atlanta Hawks still list Joe Johnson and Marvin Williams until their sequence of trades go through . . . after which they’ll have significant cap room after this coming season.
The Brooklyn Nets are also undergoing massive change but achieved their primary mission of staying the same at starting point guard.
The Chicago Bulls are deep into the tax which is why the non-guaranteed salaries of C.J. Watson, Kyle Korver and Ronnie Brewer may be in doubt.
The Los Angeles Clippers are nearing a long-term extension with Blake Griffin who will get six year and with an All-Star start or assignment to an All-NBA Team this coming season will be eligible for an even bigger contract.
The Los Angeles Lakers manage to turn their Lamar Odom trade exception into Steve Nash. Now can they add depth to the roster?
The Memphis Grizzlies are very invested in their current core. Can they afford to keep this group together long-term, especially if they don’t get out of the first round for a second straight year?
The Miami HEAT are adding Ray Allen to a championship (and expensive) roster. Look for Miami to be the top taxpayer over the next few years if they keep their core together long-term.
The Milwaukee Bucks have added in center Samuel Dalembert from the Houston Rockets, choosing not to cut his non-guaranteed salary at $1.5 million. Dalembert is now fully guaranteed at $6.7 million.
The Sacramento Kings have spending power and nearly a full roster. Do they look to amnesty and spend or do they give their young group of players, now with Thomas Robinson, time to develop together?
The Utah Jazz will have serious cap room next summer, even after taking on the contract of Marvin Williams.
Wizards Considering Amnesty for Andray Blatche
According to Marc Stein of ESPN, the Wizards are giving greater consideration to using their one-time amnesty on Andray Blatche.
The window of opportunity to use amnesty is July 11th through 17th and Blatche is set to make $23.4 million over the next three seasons but has become superfluous to the Wizards’ roster.
As Stein notes, the Wizards will look to trade him before amnesty but there’s not a lot of optimism the team can find a deal.
Washington is no longer a cap team after trading for Emeka Okafor, Trevor Ariza and Nene over the past few months. Blatche would lower their team commitment to about $53 million. The Wizards would still have their Mid-Level and Bi-Annual Exceptions to add talent.
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