Blake Griffin and Chris Paul have been staples on the L.A. Clippers for over five years now, but are they both destined to be wearing new uniforms this fall?
With the 2017 NBA Finals kicking off tomorrow evening, fans of the 28 teams not fortunate enough to make it this far are already dreaming about next year. Adding someone like Blake Griffin or Chris Paul to your roster certainly can’t hurt a team’s chances of making a run at the NBA Finals next season, and the NBA rumor mill already has both players drawing interest from several teams.
News 4 San Antonio indicates that right now, the biggest NBA rumor has to be Chris Paul leaving Los Angeles and heading to San Antonio to join forces with the likes of Kawhi Leonard, LaMarcus Aldridge, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, and the rest of the Spurs crew. If that were to happen, San Antonio could become a serious player once again for an NBA championship.
With Ginobili and Parker both getting up there in age, the possibility of one of them retiring before the next season begins is also something for the Spurs to consider, which makes it even more intriguing to try to bring in Paul if and when they can.
The only problem with the Spurs making a serious push for Paul is money. The financial situation the Spurs find themselves in this offseason is not good in terms of trying to pick a high-priced free agent like Paul. While it can be done, it may take several players to possibly change the way their contract is structured, and even then it may depend on the status of Parker and Ginobili heading into the 2017-18 season.
It has been rumored for some time now that Paul and the Spurs have been eyeing each other and have a mutual interest in joining forces. However, fans will have to wait until July first to see if Chris Paul is staying in L.A., heading to San Antonio, or shocking everyone and possibly heading to another team to finish out his career.
Another Clippers player who could be leaving the nest is Blake Griffin. Griffin is drawing a lot of rumored speculation from many teams, including the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat.
According to CBS Boston, Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge knows he has a good team with several talented players starting to put things together. However, he is ready to make a major upswing for some great players. And by the sound of it, Ainge may be willing to listen to offers for the Boston Celtics No. 1 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft or in signing some proven talent this offseason as well.
“We have a lot of good players, but we need some great ones,” Ainge said after the Celtics were eliminated from the NBA playoffs.
Could one of those great, proven players be Blake Griffin? It seems like the Celtics may have their eyes on Utah star Gordon Hayward and Blake Griffin as possible additions to the 2017 roster.
“There remains a chance (and a good one at that) that Hayward will return to the Jazz after a promising 2016-17 season for the franchise. There are other options for Boston should Hayward opt to remain in Utah this summer, including oft-injured big man Blake Griffin, who has a $21.3 million player option with the L.A. Clippers. Whether Griffin opts out of his deal or the Clippers revisit rumored trade talks, he is a player that will likely be on Boston’s radar this offseason. His extended history of injuries are worrisome, but Griffin would certainly help in both the offense and with Boston’s glaring need on the defensive glass.”
Adding Blake Griffin alongside Isaiah Thomas and Al Horford could give the Celtics the boost they need to compete against the Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference next season. No matter where Griffin, Paul, or any of the NBA free agents end up, with all of the big names out there, the month of July is sure going to be an interesting one for NBA fans.
Blake Griffin is a five-time All-Star and has averaged 21.5 points and 9.4 rebounds since he entered the league.
[Featured Image by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images]