If there was an award given for being mentioned in the most NBA trade rumors, Clippers power forward Blake Griffin would be a frontrunner this offseason. Griffin has been linked to a large number of teams over the summer, but despite all the talk, a trade has not been consummated.
According to Sportsrageous, there may still be a Blake Griffin trade talk taking place behind the scenes, and this time, the team rumored to be interested in Griffin is the New York Knicks. The rumored deal has the Los Angeles Clippers dealing Griffin for the rights to Knicks power forward Kristaps Porzingis. Let’s take a look at the viability of this NBA trade rumor.
Blake Griffin is an established superstar, but rumors have persisted that the Clippers may trade him due to his contract status. Griffin has an early termination option following the 2016-17 season that will allow him to become a free agent. Los Angeles could lose Griffin for nothing next summer, or they can consider trading him now if they believe he will opt out of his contract and join another team a year from now.
NBA Trade Rumors: New York Knicks And LA Clippers In Trade Talk? Blake Griffin Joining Carmelo Anthony In Exch. https://t.co/yc8IVtEjrU— Jackjack (@supjackjack) October 7, 2016
Kristaps Porzingis is not yet in the superstar category, but his stellar rookie season showed indications that he may be headed in that direction. In Blake Griffin, a team would know what they would be getting — he’s a finished product at this point. However, Porzingis is much more of a wildcard. He could continue to grow and become an absolute sensation in the NBA, but there is also a chance that he will level off in the coming years and never become a true superstar.
This is an interesting NBA trade rumor, in part because it contains an element of risk for both teams. There is a chance that New York (or any team for that matter) could trade for Griffin and only have him for one year if he becomes a free agent after the 2016-17 campaign — this fact makes trading valuable assets to obtain him a very perilous proposition.
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On the flip side, Kristaps Porzingis has a great deal of potential, but it is unknown just how far he will climb in the ranks of future NBA stars. Trading a perennial NBA All-Star for a promising second-year prospect would be a precarious move, but one that could be well worth it if Porzingis continues to improve and Blake Griffin opts for free agency after the upcoming NBA season.
Blake Griffin came into the NBA as the No. 1 overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft out of Oklahoma. Griffin made an immediate impact on the Clippers and the NBA in general, becoming an All-Star in his first professional season. Griffin has now been named to the NBA All-Star team five times, and boasts impressive career averages of 21.5 points, 9.6 rebounds, and 4.0 assists per game. By any measure, Blake Griffin is one of the top players in the game today.
Kristaps Porzingis also entered the NBA as a high draft choice, going fourth to the New York Knicks in the 2015 NBA Draft. The majority of New York area fans were very upset with the selection of Porzingis, as most of them had probably never heard of the seven-foot-three Latvian before the draft. However, once the season began, Porzingis’ outstanding play quickly made him a fan favorite (as detailed by the Washington Post). He ended his rookie season with per-game averages of 14.3 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 1.9 blocked shots.
As much intrigue as this rumored trade brings to the table, it fails when analyzed per NBA trade and salary cap rules. Blake Griffin makes significantly more money than Kristaps Porzingis, since the man known as “Zinger” is still on his rookie contract. Therefore, the possible one-for-one deal that is being reported online is not a legal trade. Additionally, there is no one the Knicks could add to this offer to make the salaries match closely enough, so a transaction centered around Blake Griffin and Kristaps Porzingis is not going to happen.
Current NBA trade rumors are swirling that the Los Angeles Clippers and New York Knicks may be discussing a deal for superstar power forward Blake Griffin. The rumored offer has the Knicks sending Kristaps Porzingis out west for Griffin, but the NBA wouldn’t allow that swap. For those waiting to see if Blake Griffin is actually dealt by the Clippers, it looks like that wait just got a little longer.
[Featured Image by Frank Franklin II/AP Images]