The Best Blake Griffin Trade Options

Blake Griffin has been in a number of trade rumors to almost every team in the NBA. A trade involving Griffin would be a major shake-up in the NBA because of just how good Griffin is. If the Clippers are intent on trading a superstar like Griffin away, however, they should be sure that they are getting their money’s worth. All seven of these trades get the Clippers very good players in return for Griffin.

Trade #1

Clippers Trade: Blake Griffin

Jazz: Trade: Derrick Favors, Rodney HoodGriffin Clippers

Why the Clippers do this:

The Clippers give up one great power forward for another one, and they get a great emerging wing player. While Blake Griffin is a franchise player, Derrick Favors is no slouch himself. Favors is averaging 16.2 points, 8.5 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 1.4 blocks, and 1.3 steals per game, and that is for one of the slowest paced teams in the league. On a fast paced Clippers team, those numbers could get even higher. One can also expect a production increase for Favors if his distributor goes from Raul Neto to the great Chris Paul.

Rodney Hood has also been excellent this year. He is averaging 14.6 points per game, and he has been getting better and better each month to the point where he is now averaging 18.8 points per game in February after 18.6 points per game in January. Hood has been terrific and the Clippers can finally have that small forward they have been looking for for so long with him. They end up with a starting line-up of Paul, J.J. Redick, Hood, Favors, and DeAndre Jordan; a very great and versatile line-up that would be hard to beat.

Why the Jazz do this:

They get Griffin, who is a top ten talent in the league with his 23.2 points, 8.7 rebounds, and 5.0 assists per game. Favors is not as good as Griffin and they play the same position, and while the loss of Hood hurts, he is expendable with Gordon Hayward at small forward, and Alec Burks at shooting guard. A starting line-up of Dante Exum, Alec Burks, Gordon Hayward, Blake Griffin, and Rudy Gobert has both a potent offense as well as a rigid defense that would catapult Utah into playoff contention.

Trade #2

Clippers Trade: Blake Griffin

Kings Trade: DeMarcus Cousinsimage

Why the Clippers do this:

DeMarcus Cousins is an amazing talent that some might argue is better than Griffin’s. Cousins is averaging 27.0 points, 11.3 rebounds, and 3.0 assists per game for the Kings. He is younger than Griffin, and his PER is higher as well. Cousins on the Clippers would allow for DeAndre Jordan to get some more rest because Cousins can play the center as well as the assumed starting power forward position he would take from Griffin. A 6’11” 270 pound Cousins is also more imposing defensively than the 6’10” 251 pound Griffin.

Why the Kings do this:

The Kings have not made the playoffs since Griffin was in high school, or the 2005-2006 season. They have had Cousins for 5.5 going on six seasons now, and they have a cumulative record of 152-293. This is not Cousins fault, but the fact that they haven’t made the playoffs with great talent like Rudy Gay, Tyreke Evans, and Isiah Thomas around him creates suspicion for a historically hot-headed Cousins. With Griffin, Willie-Cauley Stein can play his natural position of center, and the line-up of Rajon Rondo, Ben McLemore, Rudy Gay, Griffin, and Cauley-Stein is one that can make the playoffs under George Karl.

Trade #3

Clippers Trade: Blake Griffin, Wesley Johnson

Grizzlies Trade: Zach Randolph, Jeff Green, Brandan Wrightimage

Why the Clippers do this: 

The Clippers get three great front court players for one superstar one and a role player. Randolph is a former all-star that is still playing at a high level in less minutes (28.7) per game. Per 36 minutes, Randolph is averaging 17.4 points and 10.1 rebounds: all-star production from a two-time all-star. Green is also a great player, and he is in the prime of his career.

Green has decent production with 12.1 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 1.9 assists in 28.9 minutes per game, but his versatility would be excellent for the Clippers. Green can play the small forward position with 43% of his career minutes played there, or the stretch four, where 53% of his career minutes have been played.

Brandan Wright would provide some much needed bench efficiency. His career PER (20.5,) win shares per 48 minutes (.183,) and field goal percentages (60.6%) are all excellent, and would balance out the relative inefficiencies of Clippers bench players Jamal Crawford and Austin Rivers. A starting line-up of Paul, Redick, Green, Randolph, and Jordan would be very good defensively, and the offense would still be there as well with a healthier balance between perimeter and interior scoring. 

Why the Grizzlies do this:

Griffin would help rejuvenate a Memphis Grizzlies team that has seen their best players leave or prepare to leave their prime. Matt Barnes is 35, Randolph is 34, so is Tony Allen, Marc Gasol is 31, and Courtney Lee is 30. They need some new guys to re-establish the old grind-house mentality team of the early 2010s that now finds itself below average in defensive efficiency after being the standard for defense in the Western Conference.

Griffin isn’t the best defender, but he is more mobile than Randolph. Randolph wasn’t the best defender either before playing for Memphis, and he became a prime time team defender with the Grizzlies. Griffin would also bring some offense to this team that is  22nd in it. Wesley Johnson would also contribute to the youth movement albeit to a lesser capacity. A starting line-up of Mike Conley Jr., Lee, Barnes, Griffin, and Gasol would return to being one of the best defensive teams in the league, and would have one of the best passing front courts between Griffin and Gasol that could create some offense.

Trade #4

Clippers Trade: Blake Griffin, Lance Stephenson, C.J. Wilcox

Nuggets Trade: Danilo Gallinari, Kenneth Faried, Wilson Chandlerimage

Why the Clippers do this:

The Clippers, like in the Grizzlies trade, get three great front court players. Danilo Gallinari has played unbelievably well this season. His 19.7 points per game is among the best in the NBA, and it leads the Denver Nuggets. Like Jeff Green, Gallinari has the capability of playing small forward and power forward, and he has done it well with 6.0 win shares this season to lead the Nuggets considerably.

Faried is one of the best energy players in the NBA. He gets rebounds very well, and his 16.8 points and 12.0 rebounds per 36 minutes is a great mark. Faried runs the pick and roll well, which suggests a niche will be found in Los Angeles. Wilson Chandler has not played this season, but he is another excellent player. He has struggled with injury problems, but he is a career 13.7 points per game scorer that would help out with Los Angeles’ small forward and depth problems.

Why the Nuggets do this:

The Nuggets get Griffin, who immediately becomes their franchise player. But they also get rid of their veterans, who are standing in the way of their younger guys’ minutes. Stephenson also can have a bigger and ball-handling role on this team, a role he thrived with on Indiana. Stephenson has taken a step back with his per game totals, but he has never been more efficient with 49.4% shooting and 37.8% from three. Wilcox is a prospect who might have a shot with minutes with Denver. A starting line-up of Emmanuel Mudiay, Gary Harris, Stephenson, Griffin, and Jusuf Nurkic is a great young line-up with a great bench of Jameer Nelson, Wilcox, Will Barton, Darrell Arthur, Nikola Jokic, Joffrey Lauvergne, and J.J. Hickson.

Trade #5

Clippers Trade: Blake Griffin

Celtics Trade: Amir Johnson, Jae Crowder, Jared Sullingerimage

Why the Clippers do this:

There is a theme emerging with these trades; the Clippers get three great front court players with this trade. Jae Crowder is the best of this bunch. After being a role player for the Dallas Mavericks, Crowder has now emerged as one of the best small forwards in the NBA. His 13.9 points, and 5.1 per game are both great, but even better are Crowder’s offensive and defensive ratings of 112 and 101. Crowder is one of the best two way players, and he would help the Clippers perimeter game on both ends of the court.

Amir Johnson is another great defender, and he has an improved offensive game too. His offensive and defensive ratings of 118 and 100 are both excellent marks, and his .173 win shares per 48 minutes are an excellent mark as well. Johnson’s presence would be excellent in that a shot blocker can stay in the game when DeAndre Jordan rests or gets into foul trouble.

Sullinger provides for a stretch big man. He is a load inside at 260 pounds, and he can hit the outside shot as evidenced by his 11.1 carreer points per game and 42.6% career percentage from 16 feet to the three point line. Sullinger is a great rebounder too with 12.9 per 36 minutes this season. A starting line-up of Paul, Redick, Crowder, Sullinger, and Jordan has everything, and they would have a great bench backing them up too between Jamal Crawford, Austin Rivers, Pablo Prigioni, Wes Johnson, Paul Piece, Amir Johnson, and Spencer Hawes.

Why the Celtics do this:

The Celtics get the franchise player that they, arguably more than anyone else in the entire NBA, don’t have. The Celtics have a ton of high level role players. Crowder is gone? Evan Turner is more than capable of taking over that small forward spot, and if not Turner, then one of their young guys James Young or R.J. Hunter. Johnson and Sullinger have been traded? Griffin plays the power forward spot that those two guys play many minutes at, and the Celtics still have Kelly Olynyk, Jonas Jerebko, David Lee, Tyler Zeller, and Jordan Mickey.

Griffin would tremendously bolster this team during the playoffs, where traditionally over achieving teams without one true star have failed. A starting line-up of Isiah Thomas, Avery Bradley, Turner, Blake Griffin, and Zeller is one that has a lot of potential if they maintain their 2nd most efficient defense, and those guys have Marcus Smart, Terry Rozier, Young, Hunter, Jerebko, Lee, and Mickey to back them up. A solid whole team indeed.

Trade #6

Clippers Trade: Blake Griffin

Hawks Trade: Paul Millsap, Dennis Schroeder, Tim Hardaway Jr. image

Why the Clippers do this:

The Los Angeles Clippers are getting the best stretch four in the East with Paul Millsap. Millsap has been unbelievable since joining the Hawks on a laughable two year, 19 million dollar contract. Millsap has been an all-star for the two seasons prior to this one, and Millsap is putting up his best numbers this season with 17.7 points, 8.6 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1.8 steals, and 1.4 blocks per game. Millsap’s .201 win shares per 48 minutes are more than double the league average, and his offensive and defensive ratings of 112 and 98 are nothing short of elite, especially for an undersized power forward like Millsap. 

Dennis Schroeder is a super bright player. He is among the best back up point guards with 10.6 points, 4.5 assists, and 2.8 rebounds in just 20.8 minutes per game. The Hawks are 12.2 points per 100 possessions better with Schroeder on the court, and he would run things excellently coming off the bench for the Clippers. Tim Hardaway Jr. showed some good things as a rookie with the Knicks, but since has been quiet with the Hawks and inefficient in his last season with New York. He can score the ball though, and his style of play that is similar to Austin Rivers and Jamal Crawford makes them expendable as they enter free agency.

Why the Hawks do this:

Millsap is a great player. The fact that Schroeder and Hardaway were added to balance out the trade doesn’t change that. It is just that Millsap does not have the ability to take over and control a game like Griffin. The Hawks were able to win so many games last season because of their chemistry more so than their talent, but that chemistry has taken a hit with Kyle Korver’s injuries and Schroeder’s comments about starting. Griffin is simply more talented than Millsap even though Millsap is the better shooter and defender. This is just one of Griffin’s many superstar games, but he led his Clippers to a 5 point win over the Kings with 37 points, nine rebounds, six assists, and two steals. That is the kind of star level ability that the Hawks don’t have from any one player. A starting line-up of Jeff Teague, Kyle Korver, Kent Bazemore, Blake Griffin, and Al Horford is one with the structure to take down the East’s best and compete in the playoffs.  

Trade #7

Clippers Trade: Blake Griffin

Magic Trade: Tobias Harris, Aaron Gordon, Shabazz Napierimage

Why the Clippers do this:

Tobias Harris is one of the best offensive wings win the league. Harris is in the middle of a personal down year, but averaged 17.1 points and 6.3 rebounds per game on 46.6% shooting just one season ago. Harris’ three point shot is questionable, but his 45.1% from the corner three last season is encouraging. Aaron Gordon was supposed to be the next Griffin coming out of college, he hasn’t exactly gotten the minutes, but Gordon is playing well. His 7.7 points and 5.8 rebounds in 21.5 minutes per game is good, and so too is his offensive and defensive ratings of 114 and 104. Shabazz Napier is good insurance at point guard, and is a younger option at back up than Pablo Prigioni. His championship experience in college could be good for a franchise that still hasn’t won a championship.

Why the Magic do this:

The Magic’s weakest position of power forward becomes their strongest. Griffin becomes the best Magic player since Dwight Howard, or possibly even Tracy McGrady. The Magic, with the defensive leadership of Scott Skiles, would become a playoff team in the East. A starting line-up of Elfrid Payton, Mario Hezonja, Evan Fournier, Griffin, and Nikola Vucevic is very good and young, with Victor Oladipo as a 6th man, and C.J. Watson, Andrew Nicholson, Jason Smith, Channing Frye, and Dewayne Dedmon off the bench, the Magic become a team with a very bright future that mirrors the contending Clippers’ structure.

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