Things just got very tense for fans of the Los Angeles Clippers. ESPN reported today that the two biggest stars on the team just announced that they are not picking up their player options and will become free agents on July 1. Blake Griffin was the first player to make the announcement, and while some believed that Chris Paul was going to wait until closer to July 1, he followed suit later in the day. Now, the two biggest stars in Los Angeles will be free to sign with whoever they want after July 1.

Hope for the Clippers

There is still a glimmer of hope for the Los Angeles Clippers. If both Blake Griffin and Chris Paul leave the Clippers, it will destroy the franchise, and they have no chance of competing in the NBA in 2017.

The loss of Paul and Griffin would make DeAndre Jordan the only real star on the team, although the Clippers allegedly tried to trade him before the NBA Draft.

The Clippers had no first round pick in the NBA Draft and ended up drafting Jawun Evans and Sindarius Thornwell in the second round, two players who should make good bench options. Without Chris Paul or Blake Griffin, they would need to do more than that.

The good news is that there is still hope for the Los Angeles Clippers. ESPN reported that the Clippers are the strong favorites to re-sign both Griffin and Paul. They can pay Paul more than any team, with a five-year deal worth $205 million.

Other options for Blake Griffin and Chris Paul

The San Antonio Spurs want to sign Chris Paul, and there have been strong rumors that Paul would like to play for the Spurs as well.

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They can't offer as much as the Los Angeles Clippers can, and can only max out at a four-year deal worth $152 million. However, if Paul wanted to leave, he could also do a sign-and-trade with the Clippers. This could allow the Spurs to clear up some cap space to sign him by sending players to the Clippers, helping both teams.

The Houston Rockets have also made it very clear that they would love to sign Chris Paul and hook him up with James Harden and possibly another free agent as well to create their own super team. That has to be in the back of Paul's mind.

As for Blake Griffin, the Los Angeles Clippers can max him out at a five-year deal worth $180 million. The best any other NBA team can offer four years for $130 million. Other teams that could make a run for Griffin to try to put themselves in the title picture include the Minnesota Timberwolves, Houston Rockets, Oklahoma City Thunder, and Miami Heat.