Blake Griffin ended his season early with an injury again, and the L.A. Clippers were ejected early in the NBA playoffs in ignominious fashion again. There’s a twist this time around: Griffin is an unrestricted free agent for the first time in his career. If the Clippers want to end this era, they can wave goodbye. If Griffin wants a fresh start, he can do the same. This cycle of success and untimely despair can end.
Westbrook was slated to become a free agent at the end of the season. He could have jumped ship to a bigger market and better team in the wake of Durant’s decision, but he decided to stick with OKC instead.
When the Thunder announced Westbrook’s three-year, $85 million extension, fans showed up at the arena like it was a game day. Westbrook loves Oklahoma City, and it loves him right back.
If the vision worked, Houston would have an elite offense and a passable defense, and that combination would boost the Rockets back into the elite of the West. It worked.
Things could have gone sideways with an injury or a down season for a key player, but knowing what he wanted to do going into July 1 was a huge boon for Morey. Instead of waiting out the whims of another star, he targeted shooting and built his roster.
It wasn’t without hiccups — remember the Donatas Motiejunas saga? — but it worked. That vision informed Morey’s work at the deadline, too, as he flipped a Vip Cheap Jerseys pick for Lou Williams, who served a real purpose within Houston’s system as a reliable backup creator.