Blake Griffin is one of four LA players in the All-Star Game this season, with all of them starting in Houston. His Clippers teammate Chris Paul will be the point guard, along with Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard of the Lakers joining them and Kevin Durant. (Photo : Flickr/Keith Allison)
As basketball followers predicted, Los Angeles Clippers' superstar forward Blake Griffin made good on his intentions to stick with the team and signed a five-year, $95 million contract extension on Wednesday.
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Last season, Griffin averaged 20.7 points, 10.9 rebounds and 3.2 assists in 66 games, boosting the Clippers to a fifth-seed finish in the Western Conference. It's not a guarantee that Griffin will get all $95 million, but under a new collective bargaining agreement called the "Derrick Rose Rule," he definitely could. The rule allows for a player finishing his rookie contract to make 30% of the team's salary cap (up to 25%) if he's voted to be an All-Star starter at least twice, voted All-NBA at least twice, or wins an MVP award. The Clippers drafted 6'10" Griffin as their first choice overall in 2009 and since then he's been named Rookie of the Year and voted to the All-Star team twice.
"Happy to officially sign my extension to #clippernation for 5 more years. Can't wait. Thanks for all the support," Giffin tweeted.
Griffin signed the new contract in Las Vegas, where he and 11 teammates, including LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and fellow Clipper Chris Paul, on the U.S. men's basketball team are training to defend the gold medal in this summer's London Olympics.
With the NBA's salary cap officially set at $58.04 million per team, today is the first day teams can begin finalizing contracts with players. Other big transactions include the Los Angeles Lakers picking up two-time MVP Steve Nash from Phoenix, and three-time All-Star point guard Daron Williams extending his contract with the Brooklyn-bound Nets for five years and a rumored $98 million.
Rashard Lewis to Sign with Miami
According to the NBA, Rashard Lewis agreed to join the Heat on a two year, $2.8 million deal and is also expected to sign on July 11th.
While other teams were attempting to recruit Lewis for more money, insiders informed that the Wizards' player was drawn to sign with the reigning champions because he was reportedly attracted to the role of defending a championship. Other teams such as Atlanta, New York and San Antonio showed interest in acquiring him.
Lewis was plagued by his left knee during the 2011-2012 season averaging 7.8 points in 28 games for Washington. He has since played for teams in Seattle, Orlando and Washington.