With the 2016 NBA trade deadline now a week away, rumors are heating up regarding some of the top franchise players in the league. Los Angeles Clippers power forward Blake Griffin has been linked to numerous teams over the past month, but the Clippers may have finally closed the door on any potential deals. While the latest report says that the team does not plan on trading their five-time NBA All-Star, they could be bluffing in order to attract better offers.
Even though Blake Griffin is currently missing time with a self-inflicted broken hand, no one can deny his talent when healthy. With a career average of 21.6 points per game, 9.6 rebounds per game, and 4.0 assists per game, Griffin is one of the top big men in the league. While the Clippers have been one of the best teams in the regular season over the past few years, they have not had much success in the playoffs.
— Sporting News (@sportingnews) February 11, 2016
Griffin will turn 27 in March, and the rest of the team is not getting any younger. While point guard Chris Paul is still a great player, he will turn 31 in May. With a record of 35-18, the Clippers are currently the fourth best team in the Western Conference. Unfortunately for the Los Angeles Clippers and their fans, it is likely nothing more than fool’s gold.
Griffin will return in time for the playoffs, but does the team really have a legitimate shot in a series against the San Antonio Spurs or Golden State Warriors? According to Sporting News, the team believes they have a chance to compete with Griffin this year, and he remains in their future plans.
“A source with knowledge of the situation said that ‘just about every team in the league’ has contacted the Clippers about Griffin, who drew the ire of the team and the league when he was involved in a public altercation with the team’s equipment manager at a Toronto restaurant last month. But the Clippers, predictably, have not come close to trading Griffin, and are not expected to reconsider that anytime soon.”
When asked about the idea of trading Griffin, Clippers coach Doc Rivers did not exactly sound thrilled with the idea of giving up his star forward.
“Anybody who thinks we’re better without Blake has sort of lost their mind. We have a lot of games before [Griffin’s return] and we have to keep trying to get through that but that part of it is over with and now we can get back to kind of repairing our team.”
Rivers is referring to the Clippers’ record before Griffin’s injury and after his injury. In 30 games this season with him on the floor, the Clippers had a mediocre record of 17-13. In 23 games without Griffin, the Clippers have an elite record of 18-5. This is way too small of a sample size to form a legitimate conclusion regarding Griffin’s impact on the court. Many times a star player will get injured and the team will appear to play better without him, but this rarely carries over to the playoffs.
THIS JUST IN: The Clippers have suspended Blake Griffin for 4 games without pay for striking a team employee. pic.twitter.com/pVSi3RqjGE
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) February 9, 2016
As the Inquisitr previously reported, Griffin has been linked to just about every single team in the league, and this includes bad franchises such as the Charlotte Hornets and Philadelphia 76ers. According to Fansided, Griffin was even linked to the Orlando Magic and Minnesota Timberwolves at one point.
With a week to go until the February 18 NBA trade deadline, a lot can still change inside the Clippers’ organization. While Griffin is a great player, his recent trouble off the court is a concern for the team. Despite the team’s solid record every single year, there is also thought that Griffin is not a great fit with the current players around him. While it would make sense to trade the guys that are not stars, the Clippers could prefer to move in a different direction.
NBA trade rumors will continue to swirl over the next week regarding Blake Griffin’s status with the Los Angeles Clippers, but the team is currently denying that any talks are in progress.
[Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images]