Blake Griffin decided to stay with the Los Angeles Clippers instead of moving on in free agency, a decision that was apparently not as hard as some would think.
“… In the end I realized this is a no-brainer for me,” Griffin said Wednesday, per Kevin Arnovitz of ESPN.com. “This is the best place for me. This is a place where I want to start and finish my career.”
The forward signed a five-year deal with the squad worth $173 million.
The 28-year-old has spent his entire career with the Clippers after being taken with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2009 NBA draft, earning five All-Star appearances in this stretch. However, this offseason presented him with the first chance at free agency after he opted out of the final year of his contract.
While Los Angeles traded Chris Paul to the Houston Rockets after he opted in to his contract, Griffin will remain on a team that will look quite different for the 2017-18 season. Including Paul, the Clips have already lost five of the eight players to average 20 minutes per game in 2016-17.
“As far as expectations, I don’t know,” Griffin said of the team going forward. “The size and speed on this team is exciting. I think playing in transition, getting out, keeping the ball moving, playing free is something we’re looking forward to. I think we’re well equipped.”
Los Angeles has won 50 games in each of the last five seasons but has failed to advance beyond the second round of the playoffs. The squad has suffered a first-round exit in each of the last two postseasons.
Although Griffin seems happy about his decision to stay, there are still a lot of question marks for head coach Doc Rivers’ team.