NBA trade rumors are suggesting that the Los Angeles Clippers could send Blake Griffin to the Atlanta Hawks in exchange for Al Horford, according to CBS Sports.
Despite his spectacular numbers, the Los Angeles Clippers have issues with Blake Griffin, their starting power forward. Clippers head coach Doc Rivers was said to be quite irritated when Griffin broke his hand while punching a team trainer during a fight at a restaurant. That’s not how they want their franchise player to behave, especially after all those years of being ridiculed by NBA fans.
Another issue that the Los Angeles Clippers have with Blake Griffin is the fact that Chris Paul and DeAndre Jordan are much more effective offensively when the former Oklahoma Sooners star is not on the court. Whenever Doc Rivers replaces Griffin with a sharp shooting small forward, the floor spreads, which enables their starting point guard and starting center to dissect defenses with the pick and roll. The Clippers are intrigued with finding a stretch power forward.
To casual fans, Al Horford might not seem like a stretch power forward. However, observant Atlanta Hawks fans would be quick to point out that the 6-foot-10-inch, 245 pound veteran has expanded his game quite a bit this season.
Al Horford is set to become a free agent after the season ends. He has readily admitted that he wants to add more skills to make himself even more valuable to NBA teams in case he decides to leave the Atlanta Hawks. Horford has always been known as someone who can be productive in the paint, but now the former Florida Gators star is showing that he can be productive from the perimeter. Al is shooting much better from the three point line, and he has developed some dribble penetration moves.
While Al Horford does have a fondness for the Atlanta Hawks organization, he has mentioned before that a bigger market might be something of interest to him. The Los Angeles Clippers happen to play in one of the biggest markets on the planet. Horford would get much more of the spotlight in Los Angeles than he does in Atlanta. That’s appealing to some players.
While some All-Star players may scoff at the notion of being the third fiddle on an NBA team, Al Horford has his emotions in check. Horford is a mature player who has been in the league a very long time and would like nothing more than to win a championship. Al seems to be the type that would allow Chris Paul and DeAndre Jordan to do their thing, while waiting on the weak side in case the pick and roll does not work out as well as they had hoped.
For the Los Angeles Clippers, acquiring someone as talented and productive as Al Horford has to be appealing because it will not be easy for them to get a fair return on Blake Griffin in a trade. Doc Rivers has reportedly already turned down an offer from the Denver Nuggets, who were rumored to have offered Danilo Gallinari and Kennth Faried, two productive forwards who are far from being on the same level as Griffin. Horford is better than both Gallinari and Faried.
For the Atlanta Hawks, they would receive someone with much more star power than anyone they have had on their roster in recent years. With all due respect to the underrated Paul Millsap and Al Horford, neither one of them are as well-known as Blake Griffin. Neither one of them does the fancy highlight reel slam dunks or is featured in nationally aired car commercials.
Blake Griffin for Al Horford makes a lot of sense for everyone involved.
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