Star forward dealt to Detroit for players, first-round draft pick
The Los Angeles Clippers continue to shock the basketball world when they traded the face of the franchise and five- time All-Star forward Blake Griffin to the Detroit Pistons last Monday. The Clippers also gave up center Willie Reed and forward Brice Johnson. The Clippers received in return forward Tobias Harris, guard Avery Bradley, center Boban Marjanovic and a first-round draft choice.
The question now is who is next? Will it be center DeAndre Jordan and maybe head coach Doc Rivers. When teams rebuild they usually start at the top and that’s what the Clippers are doing. First it was Chris Paul that was traded to the Houston Rockets last summer, now Griffin is gone.
Although Paul demanded to be traded the Clippers did not have to grant him his wishes. He was still under contract. When they made that move they received several players that would continue to keep the Clippers in playoff contention and compete at an above average level. Now the Clipper ship appears to be sailing down the river in the wrong direction.
One of the reasons the Clippers are making the moves is with the big three, Griffin, Jordan and Paul, there was always something out of place. Injuries, rumors of players not getting along continued to hang over the locker room. Having to go through the Donald Sterling mess a few years ago was also a heavy burden that took its toll on the players and the coaches.
Who is the main person behind the moves? Some insiders say it’s Jerry West. The Hall of Fame player who helped build the Lakers and Warriors into super teams was hired last summer by Clipper owner Steve Ballmer to be a consultant. His role is to take a good look at a team that had super talent but never reached its full potential.
Now that Griffin is gone how will the fans react? How long will it take for the Clippers to rebuild? Can an average team survive in Los Angeles?
These moves maybe the beginning of a team that’s headed out of Los Angeles to Inglewood or to Seattle, Washington where the owner, Ballmer lives. Time will tell but in the meantime there will be no more Lob City in Los Angeles.