With the Detroit Pistons deep into a rebuilding process that has already seen some top players move teams earlier in the year, a recent list of trade ideas suggested that the Boston Celtics could acquire veteran power forward Blake Griffin for a package featuring combo guard Marcus Smart.
As pointed out by NBA Analysis Network on Wednesday, the Celtics have been linked to Griffin on multiple occasions, dating back to the time when he was still playing for the Los Angeles Clippers. The outlet noted that he is currently on an expensive contract, thus making him rather difficult to acquire. However, it was speculated that the Celtics “could possibly make it work,” even if it means going beyond the luxury tax threshold in order to add someone who could improve their chances of winning a championship.
According to the publication, the Celtics could present an offer centered on Smart, with either one of two players — second-year guard Romeo Langford or erstwhile starting center Daniel Theis — also included in the package. Such a move would allow Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum to move to their respective natural positions of shooting guard and small forward, with Griffin slotting in at power forward next to recent acquisition Tristan Thompson, who had previously started in the middle for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
“That is a championship starting rotation in itself and given the Celtics’ struggles over the years in the playoffs, this is what they would need to push them over the edge. Marcus Smart is a great perimeter defender and has been getting better as a shooter, but Griffin is an avid rebounder, who can open up the court a lot for guys like Brown and Tatum given his abilities to knock down shots from the perimeter.”
A six-time All-Star, Griffin was limited to only 18 games in the 2019-20 season due to knee injuries. Per Basketball-Reference, he averaged 15.5 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 3.3 assists for the Pistons in the 2019-20 campaign, shooting just 35.2 percent from the field and 24.3 percent from three-point range. One season prior, he produced 24.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 5.4 assists per game and converted on 46.2 percent of his field-goal attempts.
According to the Celtics’ Basketball-Reference team page for the 2019-20 campaign, Smart was a part-time starter for the organization, starting 40 out of 60 games and averaging 12.9 points, 3.8 rebounds, 4.9 assists, and 1.7 steals per game.
Boston is just one of several teams that have been mentioned in recent trade ideas centered on Griffin. Last week, one scenario suggested that the Dallas Mavericks could land the former No. 1 overall draft pick for Tim Hardaway Jr., James Johnson, and a 2025 first-round selection.