Blake Griffin trade rumors may be at an end for the L.A. Clippers. Addressing the Blake Griffin trade rumors on Tuesday, February 16, Clippers coach Doc Rivers gave the media a very succinct statement. A report from CBS Sports states that Rivers said, “We’re not trading Blake.” That’s about as specific as a general manager can get about his attentions as the NBA trade deadline draws closer.
Rivers wasn’t the only one speaking to the media on Tuesday, as Griffin himself addressed his fans in an apology about his off-court behavior. He stated that he regrets decisions that were made that night and that he doesn’t need an anger management course. The NBA could decide otherwise, as the league hasn’t given its final statement about what punishments Griffin could be facing.
One of the main reasons for the various Blake Griffin trade rumors was that he broke his hand by repeatedly striking team trainer Matias Testi. It immediately lead to NBA analysts linking him to other teams in trade rumors, with quite a few sounding like they could take place. The L.A. Clippers even reportedly listened to several offers, possibly considering a move in order to evade the public relations nightmare.
Griffin was recently suspended four games by the Clippers for the incident, with that suspension expected to be served when he is cleared for action. It is unclear when that will take place, but Griffin has stated that his hand is doing better. The Clippers certainly need him to be healthy and contributing before the 2016 NBA Playoffs arrive. With just 29 regular season games left to get team chemistry in order, time is running out.
Though these Blake Griffin trade rumors will come to an end for now, it doesn’t mean that he won’t come up again in the NBA offseason. It has been no secret that the L.A. Clippers would like to lure former MVP Kevin Durant during free agency. One possible way for the Clippers to get Durant would be through a sign-and-trade deal with the Oklahoma City Thunder. In that instance, the lure to get OKC involved could be the inclusion of Griffin. Durant is a free agent that Oklahoma City doesn’t want to lose, but could be placed in an unenviable position.
The Clippers are currently the fourth seed in the Western Conference with a 35-18 record. The team is in line to host a first-round playoff series against the Memphis Grizzlies if the seeding doesn’t shift in the second half. The next game for the Clippers is an important one, as they will play on the road against the 45-8 San Antonio Spurs. The Clippers will then follow that with a game against the Golden State Warriors on Saturday, February 20.
These next month of games is when the L.A. Clippers could have really used Blake Griffin on the court. The team will be playing for a good seed in the postseason and will lack its starting power forward because he attacked a trainer. Griffin was having a really good season statistically as well. In 30 games for the Clippers this season, Griffin averaged 23.2 points, 8.7 rebounds, and 5.0 assists per game. Those numbers rival the best stats that Griffin has had in the NBA and it could hurt the Clippers against the better teams of the Western Conference.
L.A. Clippers fans don’t want to put their minds at ease just yet, as there will likely be a new round of Blake Griffin trade rumors during the NBA offseason. How that ends up going could be directly linked to how the Clippers do in the NBA Playoffs and if the team can finally make it all the way to the NBA Finals.
[Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images]