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Report: Blake Griffin agrees to five-year, $173 million deal with Clippers

The Los Angeles Clippers and Blake Griffin have agreed to a five-year deal worth $173 million, according to Shams Charania of The Vertical.

There had been a growing expectation that Griffin would test the open market with the likes of the Oklahoma City Thunder, Boston Celtics, Phoenix Suns, and Miami Heat all holding interest in the All-Star forward. He had a scheduled meeting with the Suns on Saturday once the free agency period began.

Instead, his return to Los Angeles lessens the blow of the loss of Chris Paul, who was traded to the Houston Rockets earlier this week. Griffin immediately takes over the role as the team’s top scoring option and face of the franchise while keeping a stable frontcourt presence alongside fellow All-Star big man DeAndre Jordan.

Although there are concerns about his well-documented injury past, Griffin has proven to be an elite talent in the league when healthy through his first seven seasons, with five All-Star selections, three All-NBA Second Team nods, and one All-NBA Third Team selection. Last season, he averaged a team-high 21.6 points with 8.4 rebounds per game.

Griffin is expected to be out until mid-December due to toe surgery after suffering the injury in the first round of the playoffs against the Utah Jazz. Those reports have been disputed, though.