I didn’t see this one coming.
I was confused when I woke up this morning and I got a notification about reactions to the “Griffin Trade”. I thought huh? What Griffin is that? The last place my mind went to was Blake Griffin. Granted work hasn’t let me keep up with Basketball over the last week but I still didn’t see this one coming. If anything, I expected them to move Deandre Jordan whose name has been bandied about in trade rumours. Somewhere in the back of my head, I still think Doc Rivers is the General Manager. Doc the GM will never have pulled this move out. He’s too sentimental for all this ruthlessness.
I learned quickly that this move had the hallmark of one Mr. Jerry West aka the Logo who was hired as an adviser to Steve Ballmer last summer. Before we get to analysing, let’s see what each team got.
Brice Johnson (Bag of Crisps)
Willie Reed (Pack of Chin Chin)
Protected (1 – 4 ) first round pick
2019 second round pick
In my early morning daze, this looked like one of those King’s ransom type deals (e.g. Melo to the Knicks, Garnett to the Celtics) but when you drill down, it is less King’s ransom and a bit closer to the Paul George and Jimmy Butler deals. The reason I was so surprised about the deal because the Clippers handed this man $171 million over 5 years last summer now he’s not good enough anymore? I half expected him to bounce in the summer but the Clippers panicked after Chris Paul bounced and threw mind boggling numbers at him. I’m just a bit baffled at the timing.
The funny thing is that I don’t think the Clippers are losing any of their competitiveness. Avery Bradley is a lock down perimeter guy who has improved his 3 point shooting and Tobias Harris (How is he still 25? I swear he’s been in the league for 7 years) has improved year on year (isn’t Harris a little too similar to Gallo though?) meanwhile the Gallo off season acquisition is looking like a waste of money today (still rooting for him though). All of a sudden it seems like the Clippers have interesting Guard and Wing options. Does Avery start over Milos? Does Gallo start over Harris when healthy? Are the Clippers rebuilding? Will they trade Deandre? I know for a fact that he’s not re-upping in LA this summer. It will be a great time to trade him. I heard Bill Simmons say the Cavs should go all in and get Deandre, George Hill and Lou Williams. That would absolutely gut the team but it could work. It could also not work? They need to do something because that team can’t beat Boston (especially if Mr. Hayward is back before the playoffs) let alone Golden State.
I will be excited to watch these new Clippers if I’m honest, Doc is still my man and I think there is some intrigue to this team.
As far as Detroit goes, I haven’t been interested in them Basketball wise in about 10 years. It just isn’t an exciting team. They’ve spent years and years being mediocre without really taking that giant leap. They’ve thrown money at Reggie Jackson, Tobias Harris and Andre Drummond and I’m still not sure what they are. You wouldn’t be sure of what they are either unless you have deep Detroit ties. Oddly enough, this almost seems like a tanking move to me. Reggie Jackson is out. I wonder about their roster depth. Do they lose some spacing? Does it matter? Aren’t they tanking?
There is also something to be said for what happens to the Clippers if Bradley walks this summer and Harris walks next summer. Then the Clippers are left with a first round draft pick in 2020 for Blake Griffin. I think that is a bit in accurate because I think the real winner for the Clippers will be the cap flexibility they are able to create this summer and next as a result of the trade. Who knows what the winner is for Detroit. If Blake’s presence can’t entice a good crop of free agents or potential trades to come through the doors, he will just get fat off his luxury deal and that’s that.
Down goes the Boogie Man
This post was initially supposed to be about how bad I felt for Boogie Cousins who was having a career year on a team that was heading for the play offs and Bang! His Achilles got blown out now he’s out for the season. Who knows what happens next for him.