Blake Griffin was in line to be one of the most pursued players in free agency.
That is, until he decided to skip free agency.
And his reward for that will be one of the richest contracts in in NBA history.
Hours before other teams could officially start trying to woo him away from the Los Angeles Clippers, Griffin agreed to terms on a five-year deal worth approximately $175 million to remain with the Los Angeles Clippers, according to multiple reports.
Deals cannot be formally announced until July 6 when free agents are allowed to sign new contracts.
Griffin’s deal will be worth about $22 million more than the then-record $153 million contract Memphis guard Mike Conley signed last summer. But the total value of Griffin’s deal will likely be surpassed in this free-agent frenzy, with players like Golden State’s Stephen Curry eligible to get even more.
Griffin was planning to meet with other teams this weekend, including Phoenix, but canceled those talks after striking the deal to stay in Los Angeles.
Griffin is still only 28, and the Clippers hope that means he’s just entering his prime. And his agreeing to stay with the Clippers ensures that it won’t be a total reset in L.A. next season. His team will however look decidedly different, after nine-time All-Star Chris Paul decided to leave and wound up getting traded ahead of the free-agency window to the Houston Rockets in a blockbuster deal earlier this week.
Griffin was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2009 draft, then missed that entire ensuing season with a left knee injury. He was extremely durable over what became his first four seasons, but a variety of other injuries sidelined him for 83 games — a full season plus one game — over the last three years alone. And he was hurt during the Clippers’ first-round playoff matchup against Utah this season.
The Clippers lost that series in seven games.
Griffin has spent his entire career with the Clippers, averaging 21.5 points and 9.4 rebounds on 52 percent shooting.
Fresh off his first career championship, David West will return to the Warriors for what is expected to be his final NBA season.
… The Grizzlies signed forward Wayne Selden Jr. to a multi-year contract and signed undrafted guard Kobi Simmons.
... The Associated Press reportedthe Bulls have agreed to a four-year, $32 million contract with reserve forward Cristiano Felicio.
... Jrue Holiday has joined All-Star Anthony Davis in making a long-term commitment to the New Orleans Pelicans. If all goes as the Pelicans plan, DeMarcus Cousins ultimately will follow suit.
... The Associated Press reported the Cavaliers have offered free agent Kyle Korver a new contract.
... It didn’t take the Timberwolves long to find a replacement for Ricky Rubio.
Just a few hours after trading Rubio to the Jazz on Friday, the Wolves reportedly agreed to terms with free agent point guard Jeff Teague on a three-year deal worth $57 million.
Teague averaged 15.3 points and a career-high 7.8 assists for the Pacers last season. He shot 35.7 percent from 3-point range and is a better jump shooter than Rubio.
... Free-agent point guard Patty Mills is returning to the Spurs on a reported four-year deal worth $50 million.
Mills has spent the past six seasons with the Spurs, helping them win the 2014 NBA title. Keeping Mills was a priority for the Spurs for many reasons, including how point guard Tony Parker is still dealing with a left leg injury that knocked him out of last season’s playoffs. Mills averaged 9.5 points in a career-best 22 minutes per game last season.
... Tony Snell reportedly agreed on a four-year deal that could be worth up to $46 million to stay with the Bucks, one of the first moves that came when the NBA’s free-agency window officially opened.
Snell started 80 games for the Bucks last season, averaging 8.5 points and shooting 45 percent from the field — both career bests. He spent his first three seasons with Chicago, playing mostly in a reserve role.
... The Warriors reportedly agreed to a three-year, $24 million deal with backup guard Shaun Livingston.
Livingston has been an integral part of the Warriors’ two championship teams and three trips to the NBA Finals in the last three years. The versatile guard can play both at the point and off the ball and gives them a defensive dimension on the second unit as well.
... The Rockets have reportedly reached an agreement with center Nene on a four-year deal worth $15 million.
Nene will turn 35 in September. He averaged 9.1 points and 4.1 rebounds in 67 games and is a trusted interior presence for a team that makes its living shooting 3-pointers and scoring at the rim.