In late January, the Detroit Pistons decided to engage in a blockbuster trade with the Los Angeles Clippers centered on All-Star power forward Blake Griffin. The acquisition of Griffin was expected to help the Pistons earn a playoff spot in the weak Eastern Conference. Unfortunately, the 2017-18 NBA season ended with the Pistons only finishing as the No. 9 seed in the Eastern Conference with a 39-43 win-loss record.
After hiring Dwane Casey as their new head coach, ESPN panelists predicted the Pistons to end their playoff drought next season. If things don’t go as expected, Grant Hughes of Bleacher Report suggested the Pistons may consider trading Blake Griffin before the February NBA trade deadline. However, finding a trade partner for Griffin would be tough for the Pistons, especially after he signed a five-year, $171.1 million in the summer of 2017.
In order to get rid of Blake Griffin, the Pistons must be willing to absorb other team’s terrible contracts where the Portland Trail Blazers could be a potential trade partner. In the proposed trade deal by Bleacher Report, the Pistons will be sending Griffin and Stanley Johnson to the Trail Blazers for C.J. McCollum and Evan Turner. The suggested trade works on ESPN‘s NBA Trade Machine.
“Turner is due $36.5 million over the next two years, a number that pales in comparison to the nearly $144 million Griffin will collect in the next four. But maybe taking on that money is how Detroit flips Griffin into a piece that won’t cripple its books for almost a half-decade. CJ McCollum and Turner for Griffin and Stanley Johnson works under the CBA, and it’d swap Griffin onto a roster that at least needs forwards. McCollum’s arrival would signal the departure of Reggie Jackson, which would also be fine.”
The deal will be more beneficial for the Pistons than it is for the Trail Blazers. Aside from dumping Blake Griffin and his lucrative contract, they will be receiving another superstar, C.J. McCollum, who could build a better tandem with Andre Drummond and a perfect fit with Pistons Head Coach Dwane Casey’s system. In 81 games he played last season, McCollum averaged 21.4 points, 4.0 rebounds, 3.4 assists, and one steal on 44.3 percent shooting from the field and 39.7 percent from beyond the arc.
Since the Pistons traded for Griffin, most people have doubt if he can coexist with Drummond in Detroit’s frontcourt. Both big men offer the same set of skills, except Griffin has the ability to shoot from beyond the arc. As of now, there is no strong indication that the Trail Blazers and the Pistons are planning to engage in a blockbuster trade involving Griffin and McCollum. Expect more rumors to circulate before the February NBA trade deadline.