CLIPPERS EXERCISE OPTIONS ON GRIFFIN, AMINU AND BLEDSOE
The Los Angeles Clippers today exercised the club’s fourth-year contract option on forward Blake Griffin and the third-year contract options on forward Al-Farouq Aminu and guard Eric Bledsoe.
Griffin, originally selected by the Clippers as the first overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, begins his third NBA season and is now signed through the 2012-13 campaign. Aminu and Bledsoe, the eighth and 18th overall selections in the 2010 NBA Draft, are now also signed through the 2012-13 NBA season. Under the NBA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement, the Clippers had the right to exercise these contract options.
The unanimous winner of the 2010-11 T-Mobile Rookie of the Year Award, Griffin turned in one of the most spectacular rookie campaigns in NBA history. He tallied a rookie and team-leading 22.5 ppg (12th overall), 12.1 rpg (fourth overall) and 63 double-doubles (third overall) and was the only player in the NBA to average at least 20 points, 12 rebounds and three assists. Griffin became the first rookie to average at least 20 points and 10 rebounds since Elton Brand (20.1 ppg, 10.0 rpg) in 1999-2000; and he was only the fourth rookie to total at least 1,600 points, 900 rebounds and 250 assists, joining Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1969-70), Elgin Baylor (1958-59) and Sidney Wicks (1971-72).
A six-time T-Mobile Western Conference Rookie of the Month selection, Griffin became the first rookie to appear in an NBA All-Star Game since Yao Ming in 2003 and the first rookie to be voted in by the coaches since Tim Duncan in 1998. Griffin also participated in the T-Mobile Rookie Challenge and won the Sprite Slam Dunk contest. On March 23, he recorded the first triple-double of his NBA career --- 33 points, 17 rebounds and a career-high 10 assists in the Clippers’ double-overtime win over Washington, becoming the first rookie to record a triple-double of at least 30 points, 15 rebounds and 10 assists since Jerry West did it on Feb. 26, 1961 (38 points, 15 rebounds, 10 assists).
Aminu averaged 6.5 points, 3.3 rebounds and 17.9 minutes in 81 games played during his rookie campaign. He finished the season ranked fourth among all rookies in three-point field goal percentage (.315) and fourth among rookies in free throw percentage (.773).
Bledsoe, who was named to the 2010-11 T-Mobile All-Rookie Second Team, averaged 6.7 points, 2.8 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 22.7 minutes in 81 games played (25 starts). He led the Clippers with 92 steals and played in the T-Mobile Rookie Challenge during NBA All-Star Weekend. Amongst NBA rookies, Bledsoe finished 15th in scoring and 4th in assists.