After Blake Griffin punched—multiple times, according to reports– a team employee, who actually was a close friend, it’s time to ship the Los Angeles Clippers athletic power forward away from the Hollywood squad and get the distraction out of the way for the Clippers, who are still hopeful of a deep run in the NBA postseason and possibly all the way to the NBA title.
The trade below is allowed as per NBA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) rules and all deals confirmed via ESPN’s Trade Machine.
Los Angeles Clippers-Chicago Bulls Trade:
Blake Griffin ($18.9 million) for Taj Gibson ($8.5 million) and Pau Gasol ($7.45 million)
Why this trade makes sense for the Clippers and why Los Angeles needs to make these NBA rumors a fact:
The Clippers’ frontcourt depth is improved after this Clippers-Bulls trade. Pau Gasol can start alongside DeAndre Jordan and can actually teach the latter to hit some free throws. Or Gasol can come off the bench and the Clippers start with a Jordan-Gibson frontcourt— instantly one of the scariest defensive tandems down low.
The Clippers depth chart will look like this if they send Griffin to Chicago with this trade:
Point Guards: Chris Paul/Austin Rivers/Pablo Prigioni
Shooting Guards: J.J. Redick/Jamal Crawford/C.J. Wilcox
Small Forwards: Paul Pierce/Wes Johnson/Lance Stephenson
Power Forwards: Taj Gibson/Luc Mbah a Moute/Jeff Ayres
Center: DeAndre Jordan/Pau Gasol
Gasol’s passing adds another dimension to the Clippers’ offense and should be a good fit with CP3, Redick and Jordan. Is it enough to beat the powerhouse San Antonio Spurs and Golden State Warriors?
The team can go small (Gibson/Jordan/Gasol at center and Pierce/Johnson at power forward) against the Warriors/Spurs’ smallball line-up or punish Golden State/San Antonio down low with the Jordan/Gasol combo.
Why this trade makes sense for the Bulls and why Chicago should make these NBA rumors a reality:
Simply, it’s time to flip a switch in Chicago because their current line-up is just not beating the Cleveland Cavaliers (or maybe can’t even beat the Toronto Raptors and Atlanta Hawks) in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
Gasol will most likely explore free agency at the end of the season the Bulls can lose him for nothing. Getting some value off him would be a good return for the veteran big man.
Gibson’s defense will be missed but first year head coach Fred Hoiberg wants a faster paced system and getting an athletic star in Griffin will give the young mentor unlimited offensive options with the trio of Griffin, Butler and Rose.
If Rose continues to struggle with injuries and his play, the Bulls can decide to trade him in the future with an All-Star tandem of Griffin and Butler enough to make noise in the Eastern Conference.
The Bulls depth chart will look like this if they land Griffin via a trade:
Point Guards: Derrick Rose/Aaron Brooks/Kirk Hinrich
Shooting Guards: Jimmy Butler/E’Twaun Moore
Small Forwards: Doug McDermott/ Tony Snell
Power Forwards: Blake Griffin/Nikola Mirotic/Bobby Portis
Centers: Joakim Noah/Cameron Bairstow
The new line-up will need to establish chemistry first and they still won’t beat James’ Cavaliers this season. However, getting a true star in Griffin (and not injury-prone and non-star Rose) to be paired with Butler is good for the franchise in the long run.
This move will also allow young prospects Bobby Portis and Doug McDermott more playing time for the Bulls.
Photo courtesy: Keith Allison/Wikimedia Commons