According to Brad Turner of the LA Times, Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute are all expected to opt out of their contracts to enter free agency this summer. Paul and Griffin will both exercise their early termination option, while Mbah a Moute will decline his player option.
Clippers’ starting shooting guard J.J. Redick will already be an unrestricted free agent on July 1st when teams may begin contacting players, leaving DeAndre Jordan as the only member of L.A.’s starting lineup under contract for next season.
Paul and Griffin were due $24,268,959 and $21,373,952 next season, respectively. They will each seek new maximum-salary deals, providing them with large raises due to the recent increases in the NBA’s salary cap. Paul’s new starting salary will be above $35 million, while Griffin, whose maximum salary is lower because he has less experience, will be eligible to earn over $30 million. The two are likely the best two players in Clippers’ franchise history, having led the team to five consecutive 50-win seasons—the team’s only five such years ever. Paul, who recently turned 32, averaged 18 points and 9 assists last season. Griffin, who turned 28 in March, averaged 22 points, 8 rebounds, and 5 assists in 2016-17.
After the Clippers focus on retaining their two star free agents, their attention will shift to building the rest of their roster. One key aspect of that will be agreeing to a new contract with Mbah a Moute, the team’s starting small forward and best defensive player. The 30-year-old from Cameroon shot a career-best 39% from beyond the arc last season, and started a career-high 76 games. With two years of experience with the Clippers, Mbah a Moute is eligible for a raise up to 105% of the league average salary, approximately $7,800,000.