Clips Open Up Their Wallets, Lock Up Griffin For 5 Years
In order to reach the full $95 million that the deal is worth, Griffin will have to either be named an All-Star game starter or be an All-NBA team selection. Considering the fact that Griffin is arguably the most entertaining dunker in the game today, and that the fans vote for the All-Star game starters, it's virtually a lock that Griffin will earn the full $95 million.
I'm sure you don't need me to tell you this, but this is a great move for the Clippers. I'm actually a lot lower on Griffin's game than most people right now, but I'm as high as anyone on where it will be in a few years. As of now, I think his game is too one dimensional; he relies too much on sole athleticism and needs to develop a mid-range game, plus add some savvy moves in the post, rather than just try to overpower everyone.
However, if this kid can master the mid-range jump shot, and maybe add a little Dream Shake type move in the post (which will come with the addition of a reliable fadeaway jumper or jump hook), he may become one of the top few players in the league. He can hit those fadeaways and has shown some flashy post moves from time to time, but they are not yet consistent enough. He's shown promise with his finesse game, and if he can develop it the way I believe he will, he's going to be one dangerous dude.
Another thing he must address is his free throw shooting. If he continues to shoot 52% from the stripe teams will just hack him every time he gets in the paint.
Another interesting thing to consider with his contract extension is that he tore his ACL before ever playing a regular season minute in the NBA. However, he's shown no ill effects from his devastating injury, starting in all 148 games for the Clippers over the past two seasons. He also has shown that he still has plenty of explosiveness after undergoing knee surgery. If he lost any bounce in his step, I'd be terrified to see what he'd be doing these days had he not injured his knee.
Though his injury history has been non-existent since his knee surgery, he still needs to learn to start jumping off of two feet when dunking. When he flies up at the rim off one foot (which he almost always does) and takes heavy contact, he puts himself at huge risk of injury. He'll learn that with experience.
As I've said, and as is obvious, this is a great move for the Clippers. They locked up a player who very well may be one of the league's greats in the coming years. In addition, it helps Clippers' point guard Chris Paul to have high-flying big men out there with him on the court, as he is the best alley-oop artist in the NBA. Look for Blake to dominate the way he has, and likely improve, through each year of his hefty contract.