NBA Trade Rumors: Blake Griffin To Hawks, Paul Millsap To Clippers

The summertime NBA trade rumors continue as teams jockey for position to challenge the Warriors and Cavaliers for NBA prominence. The latest buzz has a couple of big-name players changing teams in a proposed four-player deal.

According to FOX Sports, a trade could be brewing between the Hawks and Clippers that would send power forward Blake Griffin to Atlanta, in addition to rookie forward Brice Johnson. Los Angeles would receive power forward Paul Millsap to replace Griffin, as well as swingman Kyle Korver and a probable future first-round draft choice.

Blake Griffin’s name has been bandied about the NBA trade rumor mill for months. Griffin is going into the final two years of the contract extension he signed in 2012, but he has an early termination option for 2017-18, which he will almost certainly exercise. Because Griffin could potentially opt out of his contract in a year and walk away from the Los Angeles Clippers, the team has been considering trade offers for their NBA All-Star forward.

The Atlanta Hawks are already strong at power forward with Paul Millsap, but they would be even better with Blake Griffin, who is an elite NBA player by anyone’s measure. Brice Johnson, a rookie forward from the University of North Carolina, would be a player the Hawks could bring along slowly as part of their future, but Johnson would not be an impact player in the short-term for Atlanta.


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It is always difficult to orchestrate a trade for a star player, but the package being discussed here should be an attractive one to the Clippers. In addition to getting another NBA All-Star to replace Griffin at power forward, the team would also acquire sharpshooter Kyle Korver, who would be a likely starter for Los Angeles. Rumors indicate that the Hawks may also be willing to include a future first-round pick, which just gives their offer that much more value.

Atlanta’s motivation would be to go “all in” with Blake Griffin in an attempt to challenge Cleveland in the Eastern Conference. It would be an expensive deal for the Hawks, but teams are often willing to overpay for the rare opportunity to obtain a superstar talent, and many believe Griffin falls in that category.

A key issue for Atlanta in this potential trade would be their ability to keep Griffin long-term, and no one knows if he would be willing to re-sign with the Hawks after his current deal expires — just as there is no guarantee he will stay with the Clippers after the 2016-17 season, as referenced by Fansided. Anyone who trades for Blake Griffin now would have to take into account that he may end up being a one-year rental, which is a scary proposition if a team is giving up valuable assets to acquire him.

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Even though the Atlanta Hawks would come out of this trade with one of the best players in the game today, they would be giving up a lot of value, not to mention taking a big risk on Blake Griffin’s future beyond next season. This deal doesn’t look great for the Hawks, but if they add Griffin and somehow overtake the Cavs next year, it may be well worth it.

Conversely, the Clippers would be accepting a downgrade with Paul Millsap, but only a relatively small one. Millsap doesn’t receive the hype that Griffin does, but he is nearly as good a player. When you add Kyle Korver and a first-round pick to the offer, this begins to look like a deal Los Angeles should strongly consider. In fact, if they keep Griffin and then lose him in free agency next summer, passing on a trade like this now will look like a major mistake in hindsight.

NBA trade rumors indicate that a significant deal may be in the works involving NBA All-Stars Blake Griffin and Paul Millsap. What do you think about this possible swap between the Hawks and Clippers?

[Photo by Chris Carlson/AP Images]