Los Angeles Clippers power forward Blake Griffin has been at the center of trade speculation for the past couple months, making him one of the ‘must have’ stars as the trade deadline approaches.
Griffin has been linked to at least four teams (Boston Celtics, Oklahoma City Thunder, Atlanta Hawks and Cleveland Cavaliers), all of them vying for a game-changing stars who can help them contend in the postseason.
That number of suitors apparently increased by one with the inclusion of the Miami Heat. According to SB Nation writer Jesus Gomez, the Heat is another team who could emerge as a suitor for Griffin, especially after learning that Chris Bosh is dealing with blood clot issues again.
With Bosh questionable to return again this season, the Heat are in danger of falling off the Eastern Conference standings. Unlike the previous seasons, the battle for the playoff spots in the East has become a lot tougher this year with at least 11 teams still in contention.
Gomez stressed the Heat have no choice but to stay relevant in the East due to Dwyane Wade’s impending free-agency. That’s why the SB Nation writer believes Heat president Pat Riley will be gunning for a massive deal at trade deadline.
“The Heat need to remain relevant because they have traded future first-round picks. With Griffin in tow and gobs of cap space, they could attract free agents. Miami has always been a destination franchise and could make a great pitch to Kevin Durant or Al Horford, while possibly retaining Wade. We’ve seen Pat Riley build winning teams over one summer and he could do that again with Griffin around.”
It’s not clear which players and assets the Heat have to surrender in order for them to land Griffin, now that Bosh is untradeable because of health issues.
However, Malcolm Hyde of Yibada Sports suggests a combination of Hassan Whiteside, Justice Winslow, Josh McRoberts and package-sweetening draft picks to make the deal palatable for the Clips.
Verdict: I sell it. The Heat just doesn’t have the right mix of assets right now to contend with the Celtics, Hawks and Cavaliers in the bidding war for Griffin. There’s no way Doc Rivers would let Griffin go in exchange for a Winslow with two-way potential and Whiteside, who will hit free-agency after this season.
And by the way, Rivers already stressed that there’s no way Griffin will be traded at deadline. And I honestly believe that.
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