Over the past few weeks, rumors have spiraled regarding the availability of Los Angeles Clippers power forward Blake Griffin. With the NBA trade deadline only a few days away, the rumors are heating up regarding his possible destination. While the Atlanta Hawks have been linked to numerous star players recently, they are now reportedly interested in trading for Griffin.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Griffin’s name was pretty much taken off the table by analysts close to the Clippers’ organization. In addition to those reports, Clippers head coach Doc Rivers has stated numerous times that the team is much better off with Griffin. The recent report included a tweet from Amin Elhassan of ESPN claiming that the Clippers are really making an effort to get rid of their star power forward, despite the organization’s denial.
"Even though it's not imminent, they [the Clippers] are trying to get rid of Blake Griffin"
— Amin Elhassan (@AminESPN) February 14, 2016
While it cannot be argued that Blake Griffin is one of the top players in the league, he has been disruptive this year. After punching a team employee and breaking his hand, Griffin is also set time to miss an additional four games as punishment, according to Yahoo.
So far in Griffin’s absence, the Clippers are actually playing better basketball without him in the lineup. Since it is such a small sample size, it is wrong to conclude that the Clippers are a better team without Griffin. The Clippers are at their strongest with Griffin in the lineup, but other factors appear to be causing them to sour on him.
According to Amico Hoops, the Atlanta Hawks have the tremendous amount of assets that it would take to land Griffin.
“A trade involving the Clippers, Griffin and the Hawks would pay immediate dividends for both teams, the executive said — as the Clippers would be getting good players to help them win big now, and the Hawks could get back in the lottery, land a high draft pick, and build excitement with Griffin joining them next season.”
With a record of 35-18, the Clippers are going to have some success in the Western Conference playoffs. They will likely win a round, but they have no chance to win a series against the Golden State Warriors or San Antonio Spurs with the current roster. Since the Clippers are not going to win with Griffin this year, they may want to take their chances with the package that Atlanta offers. While they are still unlikely to compete with the top teams in the Western Conference, they could make things more competitive.
This move could be huge for the Atlanta Hawks. With a record of 31-24, the Hawks are not exactly a great team in the poor Eastern Conference, but they are solid. The problem is they really do not have a chance of winning a championship this year either. They probably do not even have a chance of competing for the Eastern Conference title.
Regardless, acquiring Griffin can allow the Hawks to build their team around a true star. With LeBron James getting older, Griffin and the Hawks could be an exciting team over the next few seasons in a weak conference.
Can Hawks land Blake? Are Heat hoping for Dwight? Are Cavs pursuing Koufos? Latest talk from around pro hoops. https://t.co/Kb70VJIvHF
— Sam Amico (@AmicoHoops) February 15, 2016
The Hawks are interested in trading for Blake Griffin and have the assets to potentially pull it off source tells @AmicoHoops.
— LegionNBA (@MySportsLegion) February 15, 2016
While Rivers and the rest of the Clippers’ organization are still denying their desire to get rid of Griffin, it appears as though the trade rumors are very real at this point. And all reports say the Atlanta Hawks are serious about landing a star. As reported by the Inquisitr, Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard is looking to join the team. While the Hawks are not going to acquire both Griffin and Howard, they seem poised to land one of the two.
NBA trade rumors pertaining to Blake Griffin are only going to continue to heat up before Thursday’s deadline, but the Atlanta Hawks can now be viewed as a frontrunner for his services. With enough assets to offer, the out-of-conference Hawks are an attractive trade partner for the Clippers.
[Photo by Zhong Zhi/Getty Images]