Deandre Jordan and Lou Williams have been headlining trade rumors out of Los Angeles all season. It was and still is apparent that they will both be playing a new uniform before the trade deadline, but what occurred earlier today wasn’t expected by many.
I’ll be the first to admit that I thought Blake Griffin was safe for his immediate future with the Clippers. He willingly signed a five-year deal to remain in Los Angeles last summer and seemed to be the centerpiece of their roster. Despite his countless injuries, he lived up to the hype, averaging 23 points, 8 rebounds, and 5 assists. While those may be numbers expected from a superstar player, Griffin’s play wasn’t translating to wins.
Due to his lack of win production, he was secretly placed on the market, where the Pistons finally bit on the soon-to-be 29-year old.
At First Glance
After first seeing the pieces being moved in the trade, I was sure the Clippers got away with robbery. They traded away a massive contract that wasn’t producing wins for a very young forward who looks perfect for the new NBA in Tobias Harris, a key piece to the 2016 and 2017 Boston Celtics’ runs in Avery Bradley, and a guaranteed first round pick.
I was proud to see the Clippers fully embracing a rebuild, while still loading up on assets that could be moved later on, or become stars in their own regard.
Looking A Little Deeper
After a blockbuster trade goes down, it’s tradition for me to check Twitter to see what others think. I was surprised to see that many were actually defending the Pistons for making such a move.
The Pistons have been skidding recently, and clearly need a change of personnel to energize them. Griffin theoretically should be perfect, and after hearing from many sources on Twitter that Avery Bradley is “trash” and does not intend to resign, I rethought my decision a little bit. While Bradley may not hold as much value as I thought he did…
My Final Conclusion
The Clippers clearly won the move from my perspective. Tobias Harris holds a lot of value in the modern NBA with his abilities to play and defend multiple positions. He is also on a two-year deal worth only 30 million dollars, so the Clippers have a chance to prove to him that Los Angeles could be his new home this offseason.
While Avery Bradley may be having a disappointing season, he gives the Clippers a lot of options. They could either look to move him for draft picks or young talent to a team like the Thunder who just lost Andre Roberson to an injury, or they could play him big minutes for the remainder of the season hoping he gets back to form. If he fits your system and impresses, resign him; If not, you have even more cap space. You can’t lose.
While Boban Marjanovic’s contract may be a pain, the Clippers likely won’t need the cap space for a few years anyway. With a team with little young talent, picks are more valuable than ever.
Jerry West. The former Lakers’ legend and the primary reason for the Golden State Warriors’ dynasty is a member of the Clippers’ front office. It was he that convinced Steve Ballmer it was time to rebuild this season.
On March 14, 2012, the Golden State Warriors officially began their rebuild, trading one of the best scorers in the NBA for absolute garbage. The next night, at Chris Mullin’s jersey retirement ceremony, Warriors fans (the little that there actually were at the time) were embarrassed by Jerry West’s moved and they let him hear it.
Now that we fast forward nearly 6 years in the future, the Golden State Warriors have two MVPs on their team, along with a top-5 three point shooter all-time, and possibly the most versatile defensive player in NBA history.
Jerry West knows what he’s doing; Trust him Clippers fans. Maybe in six years, you could have two MVPs on your roster.