Los Angeles Clippers All-Star Blake Griffin has agreed to return to the Clippers on a five-year, $175 million deal, two people with knowledge of the situation confirmed to USA TODAY Sports.
The people spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal wasn’t announced publicly.
Re-signing Griffin, days after trading franchise point guard Chris Paul, was the Clippers’ top priority heading into Friday night’s free agency.
The Clippers, who viewed Griffin as "Clipper royalty," once again have a franchise centerpiece to build around. Their return from the Paul deal was excellent given the difficult circumstances of Paul having told the Clippers that he planned to sign with Houston. Griffin, Pat Beverley, Lou Williams, Sam Dekker and Montrezl Harrell, along with frontcourt mainstay De'Andre Jordan could make them still a playoff contender even with the sizable loss of Paul.
"Blake's in a very, very unique situation in that Blake was the first pick of the Clippers (in 2009)," Clippers executive vice president of basketball operations Lawrence Frank on USA TODAY Sports' A to Z podcast. “The perception of the Clippers changed once Blake Griffin started as a Clipper, right? And we've had great success."
The Clippers hope they're in line for several more postseason runs.