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Breaking Down How The Clippers Ended Up Shipping Blake Griffin To Detroit

Around 6 P.M. EST  Monday evening Woj dropped his first bomb of the 2018 NBA trade deadline season, saying the Clippers were discussing a Blake Griffin deal, and just thirty minutes later he became a Detroit Piston. Woj also said that trade talks became serious six days ago and the frame work for the deal was in place by the afternoon, but the only piece to leak was Avery Bradley’s availability. Here are my quick hits and initial thoughts about the deal and the respective teams going forward.

Jerry West Puts His Foot Down After Change of Heart

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Blake was enjoying a solid season (22 ppg and 9 rebs), but clearly has become a shell of himself and evolved his game to play more under the rim rather than using his freak athleticism.

Lawrence Frank and the Clippers organization made a huge commitment to Blake over the summer to avoid tanking and keep a competitive roster with a 5-year 171,000,000 deal to make him a “Clipper for life.” I believe Jerry West realized this could end up being an awful deal in years 3-5, ala Amar’e with the Knicks. It comes down to Blake turning 29 this year and with him already missing 16 games this year, 21 last season, and multiple major surgeries, they just couldn’t trust him as their franchise guy at that price.

The Clips are in the worst place in the NBA to be (Not bad enough to tank, but not good enough to compete) he knew it was time to move on even though they’re currently a game over .500 (25-24).

Going forward the Clippers are going to have to make some huge decisions with Lou Williams, Doc Rivers and DeAndre Jordan. With Blake’s contract off the books and DeAndre possibly gone the Clips could be in a position to reload in the off-season with a way more flexible roster situation. Even the players they acquired have friendly deals (Harris 14 mill and Boban 7 Mill for 2018 and Avery Bradley is expiring after this year). I Would’ve tried to get Stanley Johnson out of Detroit as well.

Good move by Jerry West, as he looks to architect another productive off-season with as low as 48 million on the books next season. Blowing up and starting fresh is the right decision. A rare deal where the team unloading the star gets the better end.

Doc Rivers Somehow Outlasts Blake

In these situations, the franchise player always outlasts the coach/executive. I look at the Melo vs Phil duel as a good example. Doc is the true issue here and luckily they revoked his front office duties. Check out Blake talking about himself getting traded in an open mic comedy skit below.

Does Kendall Jenner Dump Blake?

This could be the biggest L out of everything for Blake, instead of being laid up with Kendall Jenner by the pool out in his Calabasas mansion, he will have to trek through the snow of the brutal Detroit winter just to guard Andre Drummond’s hairy shoulders every practice.

Sorry Blake, Kendall’s moving on to the next one in Los Angeles. If it wasn’t bad enough, how about Lolo Jones throwing an epic haymaker in Blake’s comments, calling him out for his awful kissing ways in public.

More Trades to Come In Clipper Land?

I can’t see the Clippers standing pat going forward. Do they actually believe they got better for this season and still compete? Or do they go into all-out tank mode? I’m going with the latter as DeAndre and Lou Will could be shipped out for the right price. At least this move creates roster flexibility and makes the Clippers a possible free agent destination over the summer along with their Staples Center big brothers, the Los Angeles Lakers.

Stan Van Gundy Tries to Save His Job

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This is just a last-ditch effort by Stan Van Gundy to save his job and he doesn’t give a shit about the mess he could possibly leave behind down the line. Blake and Dre Drumm make for an interesting combo down low and could become the Pelicans of the East with two dominant bigs and a solid pg. Best case scenario, what can they be? I believe probably a lower half playoff team with a yearly first round exit. Right now they sit 4.5 games out of the five seed behind Washington, Milwaukee, Indiana, and Philadelphia.

The Pistons are still going to be in cap hell for the foreseeable future, as they will be without any room until the summer of 2020 when they have just Blake, Drummond and Luke Kennard on the books. Who knows if Detroit will still be able to afford their new arena by then? Huge gamble by the Pistons who could obviously regret the later years of an injury-prone Griffin when he’s making $34.2, $36.6 and $38.9 million from 2019-2021.

Blake Griffin As a Piston

Blake definitely needed a fresh start, just to press the reset button on his career, as he turns 29 in March. You could tell he was frustrated after nine grueling seasons of disappointment with the team that drafted him. I just don’t know if Detroit is the right opportunity for a rebirth. Either way, the Cavs come to Detroit tonight in what could be Blake’s debut on TNT. Can we get Blake in the All-Star game to replace John Wall, though?

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