Blake Griffin trade rumors place the LA Clippers in an interesting position. A Griffin trade could net the Clippers several very nice assets, but would the team really part with one of its “big three” players? A report from ESPN.com on Friday, January 29, indicates that it might be time for the team to make a move like this one. The failure of the current roster to make it to the NBA Finals, coupled with the off-court problems Griffin has had this past week, could force a move.
ESPN writer Zach Lowe plainly states, “maybe the Clippers should trade Blake Griffin.” It would be a bold move for the franchise to make, but also one that could frustrate fans that have supported Griffin since the Clippers drafted him. Griffin likely would have made the All-Star team again this season, but didn’t secure the votes due to injuries. He also wasn’t named as one of the reserves as selected by the NBA coaches.
These Blake Griffin trade rumors aren’t exactly new to LA Clippers fans, but after he punched a trainer and broke his hand, it was expected that his name would come up again. During the 2015-16 NBA season, Griffin has played and started in 30 games for the Clippers. He has averaged 23.2 points, 8.7 rebounds, and five assists per game. Griffin is shooting just about 51 percent from the field and has averaged about 35 minutes a night. Those are numbers that just about any team in the NBA would like to see from the power forward position.
After this season, Griffin has two more years under contract with the Clippers. He will earn just over $20 million for the 2016-17 NBA season and about $21.4 million the following year. These are all guaranteed years, with no options worked into the deal. It means that he is slated to become a free agent during the 2018 NBA offseason. It could lead to another huge contract, as Griffin will only be 29-years-old at the time.
The Clippers have been winning a lot of games without Griffin and have improved to 30-16 on the season. The team has won seven of its last 10 games, and now has a small lead for the fourth playoff spot in the Western Conference. While the Clippers still trail the Golden State Warriors by 12 games in the Pacific Division, the team could still clinch homecourt advantage in the first round of the playoffs. It could be tough for the Clippers (30-16) to catch either the Oklahoma City Thunder (35-13) or the San Antonio Spurs (39-7).
Why is it that the Blake Griffin trade rumors are sparking more interest than chatter about Chris Paul or DeAndre Jordan? The answer is that a return package for Griffin would likely be greater than the other two players. While Paul is still one of the top point guards in the league, his age and lack of flair on the court work against his value in a trade. Meanwhile, Griffin can put people in the seats, even if he hasn’t been able to carry the Clippers to a Western Conference title just yet.
Would the Clippers consider trading Griffin? Another franchise would have to put together a really good package of players and picks to convince Clippers general manager Doc Rivers to make that deal. If another upset in the first or second round of the NBA Playoffs takes place, Rivers might be so inclined. It likely means that there won’t be a Blake Griffin trade during the 2015-16 NBA season, but it certainly raises the possibility of the front office looking into a move in the offseason.
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