Blake Griffin, the Los Angeles Clippers all-star, could be seen in another jersey next season, despite coach Doc Rivers’ resolve to keep its squad together after yet another postseason debacle.
During his exit interview last month, Rivers, who doubles up as president of basketball operations, reiterated that the team had no intention to break up its Big Three of Griffin, DeAndre Jordan and Chris Paul. However, recent reports claim that Clippers could shop Griffin for a haul of younger talent and draft picks.
Blake Griffin could be a free agent next year…
Though Griffin is contracted until the end of the 2017-18 season, he has a player option on the last year of his deal and could essentially become a free agent at the end of next season. If the Clippers have another disappointing postseason next year, they stand to lose Paul, Griffin and JJ Redick in the same offseason.
With only $10.5 million in available cap space this summer, Los Angeles will be unable to add any substantial talent to help Griffin, Paul & Co. compete with Golden State Warriors. Does it make sense for them to trade Griffin and retool the roster ahead of the crucial 2017 offseason?
Griffin is a very attractive trade chip and would help the Clippers get at least a potential all-star in return. According to Basketball Insiders, Celtics and Clippers could pursue a trade which could benefit both teams. “Griffin could be traded straight up for a package of Avery Bradley, Marcus Smart and Jae Crowder, along with potential draft considerations.
“The point is, the Celtics have the young players and draft assets to make a move for a player like Griffin. This would give the Clippers young, developing talent that will be under team control for many years, while potentially replenishing their depleted draft assets,” writes Jesse Blancarte.
Another potential trade that has been discussed by several analysts before is Cleveland Cavaliers and Clippers exchanging Kyrie Irving and Chris Paul. “A scenario where the Cleveland Cavaliers fall short this postseason, and LeBron James demands the team trade for Chris Paul as a condition to re-signing. It wouldn’t be difficult for these two teams to structure a deal that essentially swaps Paul for Irving.”
Gallinari, Faried for Griffin?
Clippers could also revisit the botched Griffin trade with Denver Nuggets prior to the last trade deadline. According to ESPN’s Chris Broussard, the Nuggets and Clippers discussed a trade that would have sent Danilo Gallinari, Kenneth Faried, Will Barton and Nikola Jokic to L.A. in exchange for Griffin and Lance Stephenson.
“I’ve been told the Clippers actually called Denver and offered Blake Griffin and Lance Stephenson for Danilo Gallinari, Kenneth Faried, Will Barton and Nikola Jokic. Denver turned it down because Blake will be a free agent after next season. Plus they like some of those young kids,” Broussard revealed last year.
Should the Clippers trade Blake Griffin or give the Big Three another shot at winning a title?