In an era where anyone who scores 20 points a game seems to get a huge max contract, Blake Griffin turned out not to be an exception to the rule. According to ESPN, Griffin has signed a 5-year deal worth potentially $95 million.
It's a huge deal for Griffin, as he's going to be getting the maximum he can. While you can't fault him or his agent for negotiating a deal that gets them the most money that they could squeeze out of the Clippers, Griffin is simply being overpaid by Los Angeles and doesn't deserve that type of money. He, along with a lot of other players that have been getting max-deals recently, is being over-compensated.
First, just check out his stats. Griffin averaged 20.7 points and 10.9 rebounds per game last year, both very solid numbers. His free-throw percentage of 59 leaves something to be desired, but he's proficient on the offensive end, at least from a pure statistical analysis.
However, Griffin really can't do much offensively besides dunk the basketball. Having watched a lot of Clippers games this past season, it's abundantly clear that Griffin is like a fish out of water when he's outside the paint. While he's admittedly an excellent rebounder and dunker, mostly due to being an insanely athletic player, that's almost the complete totality of his offensive skill-set. His post game is weak at best, and his jump shot is non-existent and will likely never be established as a consistent offensive weapon.
He also doesn't really help out his teammates, as he can't pass the ball at all. He averages 3.2 assists per game, which on the surface isn't awful for a PF, but if you watch him play for 10 minutes you can see that he doesn't pass well. When he gets the ball he looks to score almost every time, and if he doesn't score a dunk he either turns it over, or misses a free throw or two.
On defense is where Griffin really struggles. Yes, he can rebound, but what else does he really do? At times during games it looks like he's not even trying one defense, as if his mind is focused elsewhere, probably on his next alley-oop. Griffin just can't defend well in the post, or on the perimeter if he's forced to. He's a defensive liability for the Clips for sure.
What's really surprising is that Griffin only averages .7 blocks per game. .7? Really? For a guy that's so often touted for his athleticism and leaping ability, less than a block per game is absolutely unacceptable. He needs to defend and alter shots better to deserve $19 million a season, plain and simple.
And he's a flopper of the worst kind. Not that that impacts him deserving a huge deal, just something that needs to be established because in my mind flopping is the most criminal in-game act a professional basketball player can commit.
So, at the end of the day what does Blake Griffin do in order to deserve the money? He throws down an exciting dunk every once in a while and can jump really high. Other than that, he doesn't do anything spectacular. Yes he help to sell tickets and boosts TV ratings, which helps explain his huge contract, but is selling a few extra tickets really worth that much money?
It's not. Griffin is overrated, overpaid and his abilities are way overstated by his fans. He simply doesn't deserve a $95 million deal.
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