Blake Griffin, he of comedic and also basketball fame, is on his way from the bright lights of Los Angeles to the Motor City. That’s right, the Detroit Pistons have swung a blockbuster deal for the superstar power forward, who turns 29 in March.
On Monday night, reports surfaced that a deal was struck between Los Angeles and Detroit, sending Griffin, Brice Johnson, and Willie Reed to the Pistons in exchange for Tobias Harris, Avery Bradley, Boban Marjanovic, a protected 2018 first, and a 2019 second rounder.
The Clippers and Pistons have agreed on a deal to trade Blake Griffin for Tobias Harris, Avery Bradley, Boban Marjanovic, a first-round and a second-round draft pick, league sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 29, 2018
What Happens to the Clippers
By trading Chris Paul at the start of last season’s free agent frenzy, the Los Angeles Clippers signalled reboot.
Even then, Griffin was the key cog to a (sort of surprisingly) fun Clippers team that recently went on a huge stretch on the shoulders of former Raptor and All-Star in our hearts, Lou Williams.
Now, Doc Rivers’s squad has officially waved the white flag and blown things up for good. Marjanovic in Los Angeles is certain to be fun for all. (Note: It would have been super fun for fans of crazy defence to see Bradley and Patrick Beverley together in a backcourt, but we were robbed of that a while ago.)
Ultimately, the Clippers are ready to bring it back to the drawing board, although Woj indicates they want to try their best to stay competitive throughout any retool/rebuild or even take a run at LeBron. Even then, it definitely wouldn’t surprise me (or anyone, for that matter) to see DeAndre Jordan and Sweet Lou on their way out next. Wherever those two end up may affect the Raptors in similar ways.
What Happens to the Pistons
The Pistons are sick of being on the outside looking in.
With his hand in the front office, Stan Van Gundy is ready to make a run. Having struggled as of late, Griffin brings a star quality to their team to add to a strong frontcourt, alongside the ready-to-backflip Andre Drummond. Griffin is locked up for the next four seasons, having signed a huge extension only this past off-season.
They hope to improve and can utilize Griffin’s point forward talents and throw him into all sorts of lineups with Drummond and the revolving door of guard talent they’ve got going on there. It’s a shot to Detroit’s depth for sure, but it’s a huge spark to their frontline.
A frontcourt with Drummond, Griffin, and Stanley Johnson looks quite strong.
Also: can Griffin stay healthy?
What This Means for the Raptors
First things first, I think I’m ready for more Ibaka-Griffin fun.
But more importantly, this throws another star in the conference. It doesn’t look as if the Pistons pose an immediate threat to the Raptors—for that, we’ll wait and see how they gel (much like DeMarcus Cousins with the Pelicans last season). But they add a dynamic to the post-season that could make things interesting for the Raps. That is, assuming the 22-26 team, currently in ninth, makes it to the post-season this year.
As teams lean heavily on their stars, Griffin becomes a huge player in the Eastern Conference. There are some interesting questions that arise from this trade, but the Raptors seem to be okay. If they do somehow meet in the playoffs — as 1 vs. 8, or 2 vs. 7 — Toronto will still have a sizable advantage in the backcourt, and with their depth.
But wait actually, Ibaka and Griffin getting into it might mean suspensions — so maybe I don’t want more of that? I’d rather have Serge around.
What do you think and, almost more importantly, who’s getting dealt next? Sound off in the comments.