Could L.A. trade Griffin for Howard? Los Angeles Clippers trade Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan to...
Could L.A. trade Griffin for Howard?
Los Angeles Clippers trade Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan to the Orlando Magic for Dwight Howard and Ryan Anderson
Yes, I went there. I hate to break up the Clippers, a team I have predicted will win the Western Conference. But Howard is the greatest big man in the league by a mile, and the chance to pair him with Chris Paul, arguably the league's best pure point guard, is just too good to pass up.
Giving up both Griffin and Jordan for Howard alone is too much, but throwing Anderson into the deal makes it something I believe is fair for both sides.
There is one caveat to this trade: Jordan has to give his consent. Because the Clippers matched the offer sheet the Golden State Warriors gave Jordan, the 7-foot center has the right to reject any trade for one year from his signing date, which was in mid-December. Though I imagine Jordan would consent, since he then would be aware the Clippers are looking to move him, there is the risk he would decline. If that happened, the Clippers' chemistry could be destroyed, as both Jordan and Griffin could be upset, and this season could go down the drain.
Nonetheless, this deal would work for both clubs. First, for the Clippers: While it would be hard to part with Griffin, not only for his 22 points and 11 rebounds but also for the exciting brand of play that has made him must-see TV, there is little doubt the Clippers would improve by getting Howard. For all his excellence, Griffin still does not have a go-to move; he may be even more raw than Howard, who has developed a nice running hook shot. Howard is a better rebounder and the best defender in the league, so while losing Griffin and Jordan would hurt, the Clippers would improve in two of their weakest areas (defense and rebounding).
Actually, make that three areas -- their foul-shooting would improve, too. While Howard is a poor free-throw shooter, Anderson is one of the best in the league at 91 percent. Adding Anderson, whose seven rebounds per game matches Jordan's output, would give the Clippers a 3-point shooter to stretch the floor for Howard's paint touches and Paul's drives.
While I'm one of the few who have picked the Clippers to reach the Finals this season, I'm sure many, if not most, observers would have them Finals-bound if they make this move. And just as important, Los Angeles finally would be theirs (at least for the next five seasons). No question about it.
And if you're Orlando, it doesn't get any better than this. Chances are you're losing Dwight anyway, and this is about as close to equal value as it gets. This is better than getting Andrew Bynum, even better than getting Bynum and Pau Gasol, due to the latter's age. It's better than Amare Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler, better than Brook Lopez and a host of draft picks. The Magic would remain a playoff team and still be among the league's most exciting draws. Magic fans would forget about Howard faster than a speeding bullet.