With only four days to go until the 2016 NBA trade deadline, rumors are spiraling out of control regarding some of the biggest stars in the league. While Los Angeles Clippers power forward Blake Griffin has been rumored to be a top candidate to be traded for the last few months, talks have died down over the past few days after the team appeared to have squashed the speculation. Nothing is imminent at the moment, but new reports have surfaced claiming that the Clippers are hoping to get a deal done before Thursday’s deadline.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, the Clippers have received a ton of offers regarding their five-time NBA All-Star, but the team has not been blown away by anything. For this reason, a league source close to the team claimed that Griffin would remain with the Clippers for at least the remainder of the season. When head coach Doc Rivers was asked about the idea of trading Griffin, he also stressed the importance of keeping the All-Star on the team.
“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.”
While Rivers may truly believe that the team is better over the long-term with Griffin in the lineup, the ownership may feel differently. In speaking to Amin Elhassan of ESPN, Stephen A. Smith claims that the team is actively trying to get rid of their star forward before the trade deadline.
For a team with a 35-18 record in the tough Western Conference, it is a bit shocking that the Clippers want to get rid of their star forward before a playoff run. While ESPN reports that Griffin is still sidelined with a broken hand for another few weeks, he will be back in time to get into playing shape for the playoffs.
While the Clippers have an excellent chance of advancing to the second round of the playoffs, their championships hopes are rather slim. The Golden State Warriors are having a historic season, and the reigning champions are going to be extremely difficult to beat in a series. And even if the Clippers somehow manage to knock off the Warriors, the San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder are also better teams this year.
In 30 games with Griffin in the lineup this season, the Clippers posted a modest record of 17-13, as seen in the NBA TV graphic. In 23 games without Griffin in the lineup, the Clippers appeared to be a much better basketball team. Their record of 18-5 is one of the best in the league over the past 23 games, and the team actually looks better without Blake Griffin.
Regardless of the short-term success that the Los Angeles Clippers are enjoying without their star power forward, it is not going to continue for the rest of the season. The team is better with Griffin in the lineup, and he is going to have to be a crucial piece in order for the Clippers to have any success in the playoffs.
And even if the Clippers are truly serious about trading Griffin, they are not just going to give him away. At only 26-years-old, Griffin still has a few more elite years left. Even as he approaches 30-years-old and beyond, Griffin should still be a very productive player. In order for a trade to take place in the next few days, the Clippers are going to have to receive a package that makes them go “wow.”
NBA trade rumors regarding Blake Griffin are going to continue to heat up as Thursday’s deadline approaches. Now that Stephen A. Smith has officially confirmed that the Los Angeles Clippers are looking to move Griffin, we should find out more information over the next few days regarding a potential destination and package.
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