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Zach Lowe: Trade Blake Griffin?

The talk has always existed. Now add in some extra drama...

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Zach Lowe recently discussed in an article the prospect of the Clippers trading Blake Griffin. He starts with the clear fact that Blake Griffin is the Clippers' best overall player and thus (intuitively at least) not someone the Clippers should trade. However, with the new drama of Blake breaking his hand combining with the already existing concern that this current Clippers' core has peaked, Lowe explores some trade possibilities.

As this blog has covered, and Zach Lowe points out,

"the Clippers bench is a wreck, again, especially because Rivers insists on sitting both Paul and Griffin at the same time"

As such, even with Griffin out of the current equation, the Clippers have been able to survive because the offense spaces out with smaller lineups that can shoot the three and allow DeAndre Jordan the paint to himself. In contrast, an offense with Blake and Jordan had always had the issue of both players being cramped in the paint-ish area together (although Blake's developed jumper has eased this concern). Zach Lowe thus suggests a possible trade between the Clippers and Boston Celtics of

Avery Bradley, Jae Crowder, one big man and two first-round picks -- including one of Brooklyn's unprotected picks.

While that trade may not be as sexy on the surface as trading Blake for a star like a Kevin Love, Al Hortford, or so forth, that trade would offer the Clippers a chance to build on a Paul and Jordan pick and roll that is spaced by good shooters (Crowder on the year is 36.1% and Bradley is 36.6%) and future youthful talent (the Nets have the 3rd worse record in the Association = all aboard the Simmons hype train!). That probably is arguably more valuable overall than if the Clippers alternatively (hypothetically) traded Blake for Carmelo Anthony essentially straightup. While Anthony may be a distinguished scorer and star, his age (31) and wear (12 years) may not promise for a long contending window for the Clippers.

So, should the Clippers consider trading Blake Griffin? Doc Rivers has admitted already that he's mindful that it may be needed to alter this core, and it's undeniable that Blake Griffin has the most value. If NBA trades have had any historical track record, teams are going to pay handsomely for a superstar player.