Raining punches on a team staff could mean Blake Griffin punching his way out of the Los Angeles Clippers line-up.
The troubled and controversial Griffin, who is out for at least a month due to hand injuries he suffered during the much talked about punching incident last week, could be the first one to go from the Clippers’ core, if the team decides to blow up the team and start their reloading and rebuilding process.
Zach Lowe of ESPN (or formerly of Grantland) reports that according to unnamed NBA sources, Clippers general manager and coach Doc Rivers will choose to trade away Griffin first over other of the team’s stars like Chris Paul and DeAndre Jordan.
“Several league sources insist that if Doc Rivers, the Clippers coach, general manager, head chef and lead custodian, were forced to pick one of the three to flip, it would likely be Griffin — in part because he knows Griffin would bring back the most,” Lowe stated in his latest article.
Lowe went on to state that in a previous interview with Rivers, the coach said that if the Clippers will not go deep into the 2016 NBA Playoffs again (an early first or second round exit) the GM/coach will start considering “blowing up” their core of Jordan, Paul and Griffin.
For the current season, Lowe notes that the Clippers are just 0-5 against the top-tiered squads or the teams that are considered title contenders like the San Antonio Spurs, Golden State Warriors, Oklahoma City Thunder and Cleveland Cavaliers.
Currently, the Clippers (31-16) are behind the Warriors (42-4), Spurs (39-7) and Thunder (36-13) in the team standings. If the playoffs started today, Los Angeles has to beat the Memphis Grizzlies in the first round and will meet the No. 1 Warriors in the second round of the postseason.
With a Griffin trade this season, despite the on-going issues with the controversial power forward, the Clippers will most likely net a good package with a slew of NBA teams pegged to be interested in the athletic and versatile star, who can be a cornerstone of any NBA franchise.
So which NBA teams could entice the Clippers to give up on Griffin? Can the Clippers really explore Griffin trades without hurting and even improving the current line-up in their aim to go deep into the playoffs?
Here are a few Griffin trades available, via ESPN’s Trade Machine, if the Clippers want to start reloading/rebuilding for the future if the respective trade partners want to net a superstar:
Los Angeles Clippers – Boston Celtics Trade:
Blake Griffin and Lance Stephenson for Jae Crowder, David Lee, Avery Bradley and Jae Crowder
Los Angeles Clippers – Orlando Magic Trade:
Blake Griffin, Lance Stephenson and Jamal Crawford for Tobias Harris, Aaron Gordon, Channing Frye and Evan Fournier
Los Angeles Clippers – New York Knicks:
Blake Griffin, Lance Stephenson and Austin Rivers for Carmelo Anthony, Arron Afflalo
Will the Clippers stick with their big man? Or will the Clippers sell-high now and start tweaking the team?
Photo courtesy: thesportsquotient.com