Now that the Los Angeles Clippers’ season is over much earlier than they would have liked, the team is going to be forced to look long and hard at its roster.
Both Chris Paul and Blake Griffin have early-termination options on their contracts, likely paving the way for them to become free agents this summer. Meanwhile, Paul Pierce has played his last NBA game and J.J. Redick is set to become a free agent.
It promises to be a busy summer in Southern California.
For star forward Blake Griffin, this will likely include a lengthy rehab from the toe injury he suffered in Los Angeles first-round series loss to Utah.
Griffin reportedly underwent surgery on Monday to repair the plantar plate for the big toe of his right foot, the Clippers announced.
Injury Update » Blake Griffin underwent a successful surgery today to repair an injury to the plantar plate of his right big toe. pic.twitter.com/nULVn6SwWS
— LA Clippers (@LAClippers) May 2, 2017
At this point, there’s no timetable for Griffin to return to basketball activities. Similar injuries have taken 6-to-12 weeks for players to rehab from. The long end of that timetable would push Griffin’s return to July, when free agency itself gets going.
With the Clippers’ season over, this isn’t necessarily a huge concern for the team. But depending on the length of Griffin’s rehab, it could potentially impact his decision to opt out.
This summer’s free-agent class appears to be absolutely stacked. If Griffin is facing competition for max contracts from the likes of Serge Ibaka, it could muddy his decision-making process a bit more. At the very least, teams will now have to do extensive background on Griffin’s injury history, his most recent included.