Report: Ballmer committed to keeping Griffin, Paul long term at any cost

The 2017 offseason could be the most important stretch in the history of the Los Angeles Clippers, with both Blake Griffin and Chris Paul eligible for free agency.

Griffin has a player option worth over $21 million for the 2017-18 season, while Paul's is slightly larger at $24.2 million. With the salary cap rising, it's expected both All-Stars will opt out of their contracts and pursue more money.

Clippers owner Steve Ballmer won't go down without a fight, though, as he's fully committed to re-signing his dynamic duo no matter what it costs, according to ESPN's Ramona Shelburne.

Related: Is this a do-or-die season for the Clippers' core?

Head coach Doc Rivers has gone on record on numerous occasions stating the Clippers have zero intention of moving Griffin, who missed 47 regular-season and two postseason games as a result of hand and quad injuries, as well as a suspension for punching the team's equipment manager.

Los Angeles has qualified for the playoffs for the last five seasons, but has yet to advance to the Western Conference finals, including last season's 4-2 opening-round loss to the Portland Trail Blazers, with Griffin and Paul sitting the final two games due to injury.

Whether the team even considers trading one or both players prior to February's deadline will likely heavily depend on how they're faring in the standings, and if they believe they have a legitimate shot at finally getting over the proverbial hump to challenge for a championship. The "Lob City" core (which includes DeAndre Jordan) are heading into their sixth season together without any rings to their names.

Griffin averaged 21.4 points, 8.4 rebounds, and 4.9 assists on 49.9 percent shooting during the 2015-16 campaign, while Paul finished fourth in the NBA in assists (10), third in steals (2.05), and put up 19.5 points.

Comments
Report: Ballmer committed to keeping Griffin, Paul long term at any cost
  Got something to say? Leave a comment below!
RELATED NEWS
Kyrie destroys Ntilikina's ankles with behind-the-back crossover
Kyrie Irving didn't make this shot, but RIP Frank Ntilikina. My goodness
Kyrie Irving chimes in with thoughts on Pachulia's fall over Westbrook
Kyrie Irving has thoughts on Pachulia falling on Westbrook’s leg: “that s*** is ridiculous”
SUGGESTED STORIES
Draymond forces turnover, finishes on the break with emphasis
Draymond Green and the @warriors turn defense into offense on #NBAonABC! #DubNation
Steph feigns layup before slipping behind-the-back dime to Zaza
@stephencurry30 sets up @zazapachulia for the SLAM! #NBAonABC
Bam Adebayo gets way, way up for alley-oop slam
💥 BAM 💥
Lillard flies in for monster putback
"That's definitely highlight material there!" Damian Lillard flies in for the putback! #RipCity
Sixers fan wins set of season tickets with halfcourt bomb
Yes!!!
Westbrook shoves Swaggy P in back following 3-point celebration to end quarter
Russ wasn't feeling that shimmy in front of the Thunder bench.
Dame Time ⌚️
DAME TIME! ⌚️ Damian Lillard with the clutch lay-in to propel the @trailblazers to the win! #RipCity
Jaylen Brown drives baseline for the 2-handed cram
Jaylen Brown with the baseline jam! #Celtics 📺: #NBALeaguePass
Dwyane Wade, Heat honor those affected by Parkdale school shooting
Dwyane Wade and the @MiamiHEAT remember those affected by the recent tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
Durant rumbles down the lane for a powerful flush
Kevin Durant punches it home! #DubNation 📺: #NBAonABC
Harrison Barnes does Derrick Favors extremely dirty
Harrison Barnes with the flush! #MFFL 📺: #NBALeaguePass
Despite injury, Jimmy Butler grants wish for Timberwolves fan
Matthew Long, a @MakeaWish fan from Seattle whose dream was to meet @JimmyButler, had his #WishDay come true tonight!
Melo throws one down on Durant
Carmelo Anthony throws it down! #ThunderUp 📺: #NBAonABC
Russ makes sure Draymond gets T'd up for celebrating huge block
Draymond got his 15th tech of the season for this:
SEE MORE STORIES