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2012 Clippers Offseason: Blake Griffin Skips USA Team Practice To Work On Clippers' Contract Extension

According to a tweet from Yahoo! Sports' Marc Spears, Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin is not at practice for the USA men's basketball team because he is taking care of his contract extension. Spears cited a USA Spokesman as his source.

This is great news for Clippers fans. Griffin has turned into one of the top power forwards in the game and one of the league's most popular players during his first two seasons on the court. There could be so many more Griffin highlights already if not for him missing his true rookie season with an injury then only having 66 games to possibly play during this lockout-shortened season but he's still managed to put together quite the portfolio.

If Griffin signs, the Clippers will have extended Griffin, traded for Lamar Odom, re-signed Chauncey Billups and signed Jamal Crawford as a free agent. Since Billups missed the majority of the season, it's almost like he's a free agent signing.

After a tough exit from the playoffs at the hands of the San Antonio Spurs, the Clippers didn't sit on their hands and are deeper, more talented and more explosive on offense. If Griffin can return from the Olympics with the sense of renewed confidence that buoyed Kevin Durant into a career year this past season, the Clippers could take another step towards a Western Conference crown.

For more on the Clippers and their plans for free agency, be sure to check out Clippers Nation. Head over to SB Nation's NBA hub page for all things basketball.