Los Angeles Clippers starting power forward Blake Griffin has decided to opt out his contract and will test the free agent market this summer. The news was first reported by Jeff Goodman for ESPN.
The decision by Griffin comes to no surprise as the Clippers have failed to win an NBA championship despite having a playoff team for the last six seasons. Griffin was the No. 1 overall pick for the Clippers back in 2009. He missed his entire rookie season due to injury, and he hasn’t been able to stay healthy throughout most of the team’s post-season appearances.
Rumors have been spreading for weeks about Griffin possibly pursuing other teams who are legitimate contenders. The other half of “Lob City” DeAndre Jordan was reportedly being shopped around by the Clippers just before the NBA Draft, but the team ended up not making a move. The future of the team’s leader, veteran point guard Chris Paul, is unclear with the team as well.
It is believed that Paul will be testing the free agent market as well this summer, so Clippers fans may possibly be seeing an entirely new team by the start of the 2017-18 regular season. However, if the team can convince another superstar to come play for them, they may be able to keep their two best players around for a little while longer.
Hall of Famer Jerry West was hired by the Clippers organization to be a “Special Consultant.” West has helped his former team the Los Angeles Lakers win several championships as an exec and recently helped the Golden State Warriors build their championship dynasty before taking the job with the Clippers.
Jerry West’s resume speaks for itself. He has been known to make wise executive moves and is highly respected by most of the star players around the league. If there’s anyone that can convince a guy like Blake Griffin to stick around for something that could be beneficial for the future, West is proven to be the man for the job.
The NBA’s free agency period will begin July 1. Griffin is sure to be a target for many teams that could use a talented big man that is capable of scoring the ball at a high-level.
Breaking: Blake Griffin has opted out of his contract with Clippers, making him a free agent. (Reported by The Vertical, confirmed by ESPN) pic.twitter.com/fVMbel7e6K
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) June 23, 2017
[Featured Image by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE/Getty Images]