The Los Angeles Clippers are expecting to sign star forward Blake Griffin to a contract extension on July 1 despite the recent departure of general manager Neil Olshey, The Los Angeles Times reported late Friday. The Times reports that Griffin's extension is expected to be for 5 years and $95 million.
The Clippers remain confident that Griffin will sign the long-term extension this summer, instead of playing out the 2012-13 season and being eligible for free agency next summer. The organization is optimistic even despite Olshey bolting the club to become the general manager of the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday.
Olshey was the architect of the Clippers team that went 40-26 this season, the organization's best-ever winning percentage. He pulled off the winter trade for Chris Paul. Paul is also entering the final season of his contract.
The Los Angeles Times mentions seven outside candidates that the Clippers could consider for their GM opening. But if they decide to promote from within, they could look to someone with close ties to Griffin's agent: Gary Sacks, the team's director of player personnel.
Sacks finished his second season in his current role and has been with the Clippers for 18 years. One NBA front-office executive said Sacks is looked as a bright basketball mind and he is also good friends with Blake Griffin's agent, Sam Goldfeder.