It’s been a foregone conclusion for a while now that Blake Griffin would join the Clippers.
Since May 19, to be exact, when the Clippers jumped two teams and won the first overall pick in the NBA’s draft lottery.
On June 25, the team took a big step to that end, selecting the 6-foot-10 forward in the draft.
Thursday, the Clippers finally made it official, announcing the signing of the 20-year-old Griffin.
Although terms of the deal were not announced, the league’s collective bargaining agreement stipulates that Griffin will get a three-year contract with a team option for the fourth year.
Under the agreement, Griffin will make between four and five million this season. The Clippers will also have the opportunity to make a qualifying offer after four seasons of the deal.
Griffin averaged 22.7 points and 14.4 rebounds for Oklahoma in his sophomore season as he garnered AP Player of the Year honors. He now joins a Clippers team that was 19-63 last season and has won one playoff series in its history in Los Angeles.
“I’m not worried about it,” Griffin said on draft day. “I feel like we have a great group of guys on the Clippers and I’m looking forward to helping them win games.”
The Clippers have had a fairly active offseason thus far, selecting Griffin and extending a qualifying offer to forward Steve Novak. They also agreed to a deal with the Memphis Grizzlies that would net former Clipper Quentin Richardson in return for Zach Randolph. Although the deal has not been finalized, it should create an opportunity for the 20-year-old Griffin to develop on the job. While he won’t have to be the team’s No. 1 option — Baron Davis, Eric Gordon, and Al Thornton are all expected to be back healthy — Griffin should be the starter at power forward.
“The good thing for Blake is he’s walking into a team where the roster composition is playoff caliber,” assistant general manager Neil Olshey said after the lottery. “I don’t think anybody’s expecting him to have to play forty minutes a night and take twenty shots. He can kind of find his way and find ways to contribute.”
The Clippers will hold their first of three summer league practices today at their training center in Playa Vista.
The summer league team — with a roster featuring Griffin, Gordon, and DeAndre Jordan — will play a slate of five games in Las Vegas, beginning with a Monday match-up with the Lakers.