In the past few months, rumors have been swirling around All-Star power forward Blake Griffin and his future with the Detroit Pistons. The Pistons haven’t shown a strong indication that they are planning to part ways with him this fall, but without a clear path to title contention, it might be best for them to trade their lone superstar and start focusing on the development of their young players. Despite his injury and lucrative contract, Griffin is still expected to receive trade interests from teams that are in dire need of a frontcourt boost and additional star power on their roster.
One of the potential suitors for Griffin in the 2020 offseason is the Denver Nuggets. Instead of emptying their collection of trade assets on other superstars, Greg Swartz of Bleacher Report suggested that the Nuggets should go after a “buy-low option” like Griffin.
In the proposed scenario, the Nuggets would be sending a package that includes Gary Harris and Will Barton to the Pistons in exchange for Griffin and a 2021 second-round pick.
“With Paul Millsap hitting free agency and Griffin now healthy following January knee surgery, Denver has the chance to add an All-Star talent without giving up a whole lot in return. Griffin could be brought along slowly as the team’s third option offensively, and he’s become a good floor-spacer and one of the NBA’s best passing big men. Putting him and Nikola Jokic together would open up all kinds of high-low actions.”
Trading for Griffin would be a huge gamble for the Nuggets since they would be getting an injury-riddled star who would be consuming a huge chunk of their salary cap space for the next two years. However, if he’s healthy, he’s undeniably an incredible addition to the Nuggets. His arrival in Denver would immediately address their need for additional star power around their superstar duo of Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray.
Griffin would give the Nuggets a very reliable third scoring option who is also a great rebounder, facilitator, rim protector, and floor-spacer. If he regains his All-Star form and meshes well with Jokic and Murray, the Nuggets would have a better chance of dominating the Western Conference and bringing home the Larry O’Brien Trophy next year.
Meanwhile, for the Pistons, the proposed deal is about getting rid of Griffin’s massive contract without giving up young talent and a future first-round pick. However, aside from clearing salary cap space, it would also allow them to acquire a player who could be a part of their long-term plan. At 26, Harris is still young enough to fit into a rebuilding team.