The Los Angeles Clippers made the second-biggest splash of the NBA free agency period, reeling in Blake Griffin back to the team and giving him a five-year, $175 million deal on Friday. Griffin will be the centerpiece of a team who just lost Chris Paul.
It is good to see the Clippers get the Griffin deal out of the way and reportedly use most of his old and new teammates in a room to convince him to stay. It worked. Griffin ended up canceling meetings with the Phoenix Suns and Denver Nuggets to ink the new contract.
Now that the Griffin deal is over and done with, the team can go back and focus on signing pieces that will help the team try and compete in the reloaded Western Conference. A couple of names have been swirling around the Clippers in the first couple of hours — Jonathon Simmons, Joe Ingles and Danilo Gallinari.
Simmons and Ingles are both restricted free agents and the San Antonio Spurs and the Utah Jazz would have the opportunity to match any offer sheets the Clippers sign Simmons and Ingles to respectively. Both players would be good pieces for the Clippers, but definitely not enough to overtake the Golden State Warriors in the West.
Gallinari is a sharpshooter that the Clippers could use greatly. The only issue is that Gallinari is going to be pursued by a ton of teams, including those in the Eastern Conference, where he would have a better chance of winning meaningful basketball games.
Also, the Clippers really have to make a decision. Are they all in? Does the Griffin signing mean Los Angeles is still going to compete and play for a title rather than pack it in and try to build through the draft? If Los Angeles does not think it can do that, then it would make sense for them to answer the phone if teams call about DeAndre Jordan and Jamal Crawford.
Jordan and Crawford have both reportedly been inquired about. It’s unclear what the Clippers could get for them, but it would be a big signal if Los Angeles inked Griffin and then turned around and traded two staples in the organization.
One player you will not see in a Clippers jersey next season is J.J. Redick.
Redick is reportedly finished in L.A. and is already taking meetings with the Philadelphia 76ers and Brooklyn Nets. He has also reportedly expressed interest in joining the Houston Rockets, but Houston would have to move some cap around to even attempt at signing him.