NBA trade rumors have been swirling around Blake Griffin since he broke his hand while punching a team trainer at a restaurant. According to ESPN, the Los Angeles Clippers have suspended their star forward for four games and will withhold his pay for a fifth game. That more than likely means that Clippers President of Basketball Operations and Head Coach Doc Rivers will be listening to offers from other NBA executives in the coming weeks.
The biggest priority for Doc Rivers and the Los Angeles Clippers this season was to try to figure out how to catch up to the Stephen Curry’s Golden State Warriors and Tim Duncan’s San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference. The road to the NBA Finals goes through those two teams, and they have been playing at a ridiculous level. Blake Griffin allowed himself to be distracted from that goal and actually became a distraction himself to the team.
While talent is considered very valuable, NBA executives and head coaches know that victories are how you improve your job security. Having been in the National Basketball Association as a player, coach, and executive, Doc Rivers knows that fact very well. He knows that if another team throws him a tremendous offer for Blake Griffin, then the wise move would be to listen to it and contemplate the merits of pulling the trigger.
Since Atlanta Hawks President of Basketball Operations Mike Budenholzer is concerned about his team being able to get past the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference, he is considering the possibility of blowing up the core and trading Jeff Teague, Kyle Korver, and Al Horford. If Doc Rivers can convince Budenholzer to give up a combination of those three in exchange for Blake Griffin, then that would be considered a major victory for the Los Angeles Clippers.
The Milwaukee Bucks are willing to trade everyone except for Giannis Antetokounmpo, so it wouldn’t necessarily be a bad idea for Doc Rivers to ask about the availability of Jabari Parker. The former Duke Blue Devils star is only 20 years old, has loads of potential and can play in that small lineup that makes the pick and roll play by Chris Paul and DeAndre Jordan even more deadly than it already is right now.
The Cleveland Cavaliers are said to be interested in Blake Griffin, so now might be a good time for Doc Rivers to strike up a conversation with David Griffin. Former Cavaliers Head Coach David Blatt was never able to figure out how to get Kevin Love to mesh with Kyrie Irving and LeBron James, and new head coach Tyronn Lue hasn’t found any luck early on either, so a change in scenery might be what the doctor ordered.
Doc Rivers is reportedly more than willing to replace Blake Griffin with Kevin Durant, and the Oklahoma City Thunder might now be willing to oblige because it seems more and more likely that the former Texas Longhorns star is going to seek out a new NBA home when he becomes a free agent after the season. Acquiring Griffin means that the Thunder have a year to convince Russell Westbrook, who is now being targeted by the New York Knicks, to stay in Oklahoma City.
Another option for Doc Rivers is to be patient and hold on to Blake Griffin, then hope that the punching incident was simply just a bad decision one night as opposed to being a trend in behavior.
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