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Paul and Griffin opt-outs could make wakes in FA

While it might seem expected that Chris Paul would re-sign with the Los Angeles Clippers, he would be a major addition for the Cleveland Cavaliers as they try to catch up to the Golden State Warriors.

It never comes as much of a surprise when star players opt out of their contracts when given the opportunity. With the rising salaries for athletes every single year, it’s a smart monetary decision to get out of the old contract to get a new deal for way more money. In that regard, it makes sense that both Chris Paul and Blake Griffin have notified the Los Angeles Clippers won’t pick up their player options for next season and will become unrestricted free agents on July 1.

It is also pretty common to see star players take advantage of bird rights to sign a new lucrative contract with their same team after opting out. The Clippers are regarded as heavy favorites to re-sign both Paul and Griffin, but should Paul and/or Griffin look to go away from the team that has brought them success but nothing close to a ring?

The Clippers Big Three has not worked at all. They are a group of guys who can get wins, but just don’t win the big games. They’re a second round playoff team. That’s it, and that’s all they’ve been. The Clippers still want the big three of Paul, Griffin and DeAndre Jordan to be the foundation of what they hope to make into a championship team. Remember, the definition of insanity is repeating the same act over and over expecting a different result. Maybe that is just the Clippers’ delusion that they can win a championship with that group. But maybe Paul and Griffin has other hopes.

Over the course of a remarkable career, Paul earned a standing as one of the greatest point guards in NBA history. Yet, at 32-years-old he has no ring. With one a few years left of competing at a high level before age leads to an inevitable drop off, Paul may not want to wait around with the Clippers just hoping their plan that has not worked all of a sudden starts working.

With the Cavaliers desperate to find a star player who can help get them past a Warriors team that is now loaded with Kevin Durant, Cleveland could be a perfect destination for Paul. Just imagine he and Kyrie Irving in the same backcourt on a team with LeBron James. Irving could benefit from the official move to shooting guard as well. Getting Paul could be a major score for the Cavaliers this offseason. Yes, it would mean they would have to get rid of a big-money player like Kevin Love, but other casualties such as Tristan Thompson, JR Smith, and Iman Shumpert can be afforded, especially if it means getting an all-time great point guard like Paul on the team.

Griffin could also turn his nose to a new contract with the Clippers. The former No. 1 overall pick who was once the team’s savior has fallen out of regards with the team and fans in many ways. A fresh start with a new team could be a great thing for him. The Boston Celtics certainly could use a top-level talent to play inside. Maybe he can try to be their missing piece. Or perhaps a missing piece in Portland or Oklahoma City.

Though the Clippers are expected to keep both Paul and Griffin, it almost would be more shocking if they actually did. There is a similar sort of sense about this as when James opted out of his deal with the Miami Heat. Everybody was so nonchalant about it and expected him to return, but just on a bigger contract. Then he went back to Cleveland. Don’t just expected star players like Paul and Griffin to follow the same old formula of opting out and re-signing for a big deal when the time comes for it. These opt-outs could be the start of a summer that could change the landscape of the NBA if those two All-NBA talents decide to chance rings and not just hope.

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Corey Johns

Editor in Chief
You could say Corey was born to become a sports journalist. His father won a national championship coaching college soccer. His mother is a baseball fanatic who hasn't missed seeing an Orioles game since 1983 (literally, sometimes it's annoying). His great uncle was a big-time boxing promoter and his maternal grandfather was once a department head at the Baltimore Sun. Basically, sports and journalism run through his blood. He played just about every little league sports there was when he was a kid and was a multi-sport athlete in high school; even playing in the first-ever high school sanction Rugby game in the country. Eventually he retired from sports as an undefeated Maryland state Rugby champion as a high school senior. Perhaps lack of athletic talent has more to do with the retirement, but he will tell you that it more had to do with a great desire to jump right into media. Upon his graduation from University of Maryland, Baltimore County as a triple communications major, Corey started the So Much Sports network and has continued to grow his websites and continues to work to make them premier sports media outlets.

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