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Blake Griffin: What does it mean to the Thunder?

John Rohde Published: July 11, 2012
Throughout this offseason, we will do our best to keep up with trades and free-agent signings that could have a potential effect on the Thunder. Today, it’s former Oklahoma standout Blake Griffin, who has agreed to a maximum five-year extension that likely will reach $95 million with the Los Angeles Clippers: What it means to the Clippers: The long-term potential of the franchise remains intact and the next quest now is to sign point guard teammate Chris Paul to a five-year deal that will be worth roughly $108 million (he's been in the league four more years). Griffin's extension begins in 2013-14 and will qualify for the maximum (30 percent of the team salary cap) if next season Griffin is voted as an All-Star Game starter for a second time, is voted All-NBA for a second time, or he is voted league MVP. What's particularly amazing is Griffin had one less year to qualify for the max. He missed his entire first season in the league due to a knee injury. Griffin has been an amazing fit under the bright lights of Los Angeles and could earn at least the same amount in endorsement money over the same time span, if he so chose.  What it means to the Thunder: Griffin has had some highlight moments against the Thunder, but he has against everybody. In eight career games against OKC, Griffin has averaged 21.1 points, 10.5 rebounds and 4.4 assists in 35.6 minutes. The Clippers won their first playoff series since 2006 last year, but then got blanked 4-0 by the San Antonio Spurs, who were then eliminated by the Thunder. If Paul and Griffin can stay together for the next six-plus seasons, Paul's career assists average and Griffin's career points average no doubt will rise, but it will take other teammates and improvement to Griffin's all-around game for the Clippers to pass OKC. - John Rohde