Yesterday evening, it was announced Blake Griffin was traded to the Detroit Pistons from the Los Angeles Clippers. This trade blind-sided the league, since most of the season it was speculated the Clippers were moving DeAndre Jordan and recently rumored to be moving Lou Williams. To add, Blake Griffin just signed a 171 million dollar contract this past summer. And with Chris Paul gone, it seemed like this was Blake’s team for the foreseeable future. Clearly, the Clippers have a different plan regarding the direction they are headed in.
Here are the trade details:
Los Angeles Clippers get: Tobias Harris, Avery Bradley, Boban Marjanovic, 1st round pick (Top-4 protected pick in 2018), 2nd round pick
Detroit Pistons get: Blake Griffin, Bryce Johnson, Willie Reed
Impact on the Los Angeles Clippers
With this trade, the Clippers are obviously thinking to rebuild. They currently have no franchise player and their best player, DeAndre Jordan, is likely to leave in free agency at the end of this season. It is likely that the Clippers will trade both DeAndre Jordan and Lou Williams before the trade deadline with the Cleveland Cavaliers being the frontrunners in both respects. With the addition of Tobias Harris and Avery Bradley and possible other moves they will make before the deadline, the Clippers may be giving up on the playoff hunt this season and are trying to put the pieces together to make a run in the future.
Over the summer, the Clippers acquired Jerry West as a consultant for the franchise. Jerry West is not only known for being one of the best point guards of all time but also one of the best basketball minds in the game today. He is partly responsible for some of the more recent success of the Los Angeles Lakers as well as helping the Golden State Warriors get to where they are today.
Once Jerry West arrived to the Clippers, he immediately took away GM responsibilities from Doc Rivers and made him solely focus on coaching. With Chris Paul and Blake Griffin gone, and DeAndre Jordan almost out the door, it’s likely Doc Rivers will be gone sooner than later. It’s easy to predict that Doc Rivers will not be coaching the Clippers next season.
Impact on the Detroit Pistons
As one team falls, another rises. Though they had to give up some key pieces to get Blake Griffin, the Pistons should be able to reap the benefits of having one of the best power forwards in the game. Without Chris Paul, Griffin showed he is capable of hitting the mid range and the occasional three pointer. Additionally, his ball handling has improved and he is displaying his capability of running the offense even as a big man.
With the west still stacked with talent, it’s good to see this shift in the NBA. Now that Blake is in Detroit, this might shake up where future free agents might consider playing. The east is still by far the weaker conference, so if another star were able to join up with Griffin in Detroit they will definitely be a team no one wants to face in the playoffs. However, they still need to add a couple key rotation players and pray to the basketball gods that Blake Griffin remains healthy. By even mentioning this, I think I just jinxed his chances of finishing this season injury-free.
The trade deadline is Thursday February 8th at 3pm. Once again, get your popcorn ready as this soap opera of a season is only getting better.
Till next time,