As expected, the Clippers offered extensions to All-Stars Blake Griffin and Chris Paul on Saturday night when the free-agency period opened.
And as expected, Griffin planned to sign his five-year extension worth up to $95 million and Paul didn’t accept his three-year extension for $60million, according to people who were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.
With Griffin agreeing, the Clippers will have the forward, who’ll earn $7.2 million next season, locked up for the next six years.
For Paul, who will earn $17.7 million next season in the last year of his contract, waiting to sign an extension after next season was a better financial decision, said a person close to the point guard.
Paul, who came to the Clippers in a trade before last season, can sign a five-year, $108-million extension with the team in July 2013.
The Clippers also made contact with the representatives of guard Chauncey Billups Saturday night. Billups missed most of last season recovering from a torn left Achilles’ tendon, but the Clippers want him back.
The Clippers were expected to reach out to free-agent guard Jamal Crawford, who opted out of his contract with the Portland Trail Blazers. The 6-foot-5 Crawford probably will command the mid-level exception.
A source close to both Billups and Crawford said there was “interest” and that they would “engage in discussions” with the Clippers.
The Clippers also plan on talking with the representatives of Randy Foye and Nick Young.
Free agents could agree to deals starting at 9 p.m. PDT Saturday, but they can’t sign with a team until the 10-day moratorium period expires on July 11.
The Clippers have two exceptions to lure free agents:
The mid-level exception for teams like the Clippers that are non-luxury-tax paying teams is a maximum deal of four years starting at $5 million in the first two years and with annual 3% raises thereafter.
The biannual exception is for non-tax-paying teams and is for a maximum deal of two years starting at $1.9 million in the first year with a 3% increase in the second year.