Blake Griffin has spent the majority of his career putting the Los Angeles Clippers organization on the map with his posterizing dunks and candid off-the-court attitude. It happened at a perfect time as Kobe Bryant slowly phased out of his prime and out of the Lakers, giving the Clippers enough room to grow in the City of Angels.
Unfortunately, the Clippers have not been able to take advantage of several opportunities to get to even the Western Conference Finals, and it looks like the band may be breaking up soon. Sure, Griffin, Deandre Jordan, and Chris Paul have been loyal to each other, but it might be time to admit that things aren’t working out to meet the bottom line.
As a Clippers fan, I’ve spent the past couple seasons with high hopes in the playoffs, only to have them cut down by the team imploding.
Griffin’s leg injury has been a concern for the Clippers. The team could play pretty well without him, so I would not be surprised to see the Clippers try to trade him for another high-performing asset just to keep the team off the brink of an early elimination in 2017. The five teams that are interested in trading for Griffin include the Chicago Bulls, Oklahoma City Thunder, Toronto Raptors, Boston Celtics, and Philadelphia 76ers. Of course, the New York Knicks are also interested, but there is nothing they could really trade for Griffin.
Griffin could be traded to the Bulls for Taj Gibson, Nikola Mirotic and Tony Snell, and still free up cap room for the Clippers. Gibson’s got that high-energy defense and rebounding, Mirotic can help space the floor and score from outside, and Tony Snell could add perimeter defense. This liquidates the Clippers’ holdings and gives them three pieces to trade around, and also strategically puts a phenomenal player into the Eastern Conference to lower the chance of Griffin wailing on them in the Western Conference playoffs. For Blake Griffin, this could be huge. If he ends up on the Bulls he would be playing with Dwyane Wade, Rajon Rondo, Jimmy Butler, and possibly DeMarcus Cousins if the Bulls could swing that. That’s a dirty line-up – and with Wade’s leadership it could be a Championship-caliber team.
OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER
Russell Westbrook and Blake Griffin could easily transform Oklahoma City into the next Lob City. Both play with a ferocious intensity and getting them on the same squad could be lethal. Griffin would have to be traded for Enes Kanter and Andre Roberson. It’s not the best-case scenario for the Clippers, but for Griffin it would be phenomenal.
— Nikki Kay (@NikkiKayKFOR) August 27, 2016
Putting Blake on the young roster of the Celtics could help the team solidify itself as an Eastern Conference threat. The Celtics would have to trade Amir Johnson and Jae Crowder to entice the Clippers. Crowder would add more firepower from the three-point line and Johnson would help to add more size down low. Blake would be joining Al Horford, Isaiah Thomas, and third-round pick Jaylen Brown.
Playing in what is comparably the Los Angeles of Canada could be a good transition for Blake. The Raptors would have to give up Terrence Ross, Patrick Patterson and Norman Powell. This is a trade that would give the Clippers some more player liquidity, but one unlikely to improve their chances of winning without their superstar. Griffin playing with DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry is like a mediocre ‘Big Three’ that could prove to be a good combination.
This is the only trade that the Clippers might actually be compelled to make. Philadelphia would get rid of their size problems and turn two big men into one dominating power forward. Jahlil Okafor and Nerlens Noel are two young’uns that have been in the NBA for less than half of Blake’s duration combined, yet are both top draft picks. They would add some size to the Clippers’ roster and form a triple tower threat with DeAndre Jordan. Philly would also have to give up Carl Landry. Tough call for the 76ers, but it could be worth it in the end, for the Clippers at least.
— 76ers Fan Zone (@76ers_FZ) July 20, 2016