Blake Griffin, a free agent next summer, could consider moving to his hometown team of Oklahoma City Thunder. Russell Westbrook, also a free agent next June, could move to his hometown team of Los Angeles Clippers or Lakers. Doesn’t it make sense to swap the two?
Why do Clippers need Russell Westbrook?
Clippers already have Chris Paul, perhaps the most astute floor general in the game. Why do they need another point guard in Westbrook? It’s simple. 1) Paul, like Griffin, is a free agent next summer and could decide to bolt. 2) Westbrook has been criticized for his decision-making skills and could benefit by playing as a two-guard alongside Paul.
During Game 6 of the Western Conference finals against Golden State Warriors, Westbrook committed four turnovers in the last minute-and-a-half. Thunder blew a 3-1 series lead as Warriors closed out Game 7 at home and advanced to the NBA finals. Many pundits, including Skip Bayless, blamed Westbrook’s decision-making and selfish plays for Thunder’s downfall.
ESPN Trade Machine: Approves blockbuster trade
Granted that Westbrook averaged over 10 assists per game during the regular season. But that still doesn’t mean the athletic guard is a good decision maker or willing passer (especially in clutch scenarios).
Last season, Thunder ranked second in the league in points per game (110.2) and offensive rating (109.9). But they also ranked 10th in assists per game (23) and ranked 22nd in assist percentage. A lot of that boils down to Westbrook, who rarely makes shots assisted upon. While playing alongside Paul, Westbrook is sure to get a lot of easier opportunities to score.
Why do Thunder need Blake Griffin?
The Thunder traded away Serge Ibaka last month, leaving a big hole at the power forwad position. While they do have Enes Kanter, stretch 4 Ersan İlyasova and rookie Domantas Sabonis as part of their front court rotation, it would be difficult to fill the hole left by Ibaka.
Griffin has strong roots to Oklahoma. A native of the city, he also played college basketball for the Sooners before being drafted No. 1 overall by the Clippers in 2009. At some point in his professional career, Griffin is sure to entertain the thoughts of going back home.
Also, the Clippers grew increasingly frustrated with Blake Griffin due to his injuries and his alleged quarrel with a member of the training staff which led to his four-game suspension. Wouldn’t both teams benefit from this blockbuster trade?