Detroit Pistons / Los Angeles Clippers Trade…
Had to take a day to think about this one. The Clippers trade Blake Griffin, Willie Reed and Brice Johnson to the Pistons in exchange for Avery Bradley, Tobias Harris, Boban Marjanovic, a future first-round protected pick and a future second-round pick.
On the surface it seems as if the Pistons win the trade. They get an All-Star and an impact player. Blake Griffin at the four, Andre Drummond at the five and Reggie Jackson at the one form a semi ‘big three’. If Stanley Johnson and some of the young pieces finally pick it up, then the Pistons could be a team that makes the playoffs. Hopefully Griffin stays away from the injury bug that has plagued him over his career. Can they win a first round? Maybe, but they’re not a powerhouse. They would have to catch up to teams such as the Celtics, Raptors, Cavaliers, Bucks, Wizzards, Heat and of course the future stars of the 76ers. The issue with the Pistons now becomes cap space. They’ll have over $70 million dollars committed to three players starting next year and the salaries go up every year from there. Not sure if this is the brightest move by the Pistons, but it looks like they had to do something. The new arena is not selling out and the team is (was) barely in the playoff picture. The bigger issue here is the dual role of the head coach also being the President. This is very difficult for any person. This is what Stan Vun Gundy is going through, the Timberwolves are still working this out with Tom Thibodeau and the Clippers put a stop to this with Doc Rivers who recently lost the position as President.
The Clippers make this trade to get cap space as they realize, since losing All-Star Chris Paul over the summer, it’s clearly not working for them. They hope Avery Bradley along with Tobias Harris, mixes nicely with the current roster. This was a smart move to get rid of a large contract, however why even offer Griffin a five year deal this past summer if they didn’t have plans to build around him? Good on them for figuring this out and admitting to a possible mistake, however it seems as if they still don’t know what they’re doing. When the trade happened, everyone assumed DeAndre Jordan and Lou Williams are next. Clippers executives said this was not true and they plan to retool and not do a full rebuild. Again, this is extremely difficult to do. The Clippers with their version of the big three never made it past the first round, so what makes them think tweaking the team as constructed will go further? It just doesn’t make sense! Yes, the have dreams of landing top free agents in the summer, such as LeBron James, but do they really think LBJ would head to the Clippers with a bunch of role players?
Reality is, both the Clippers and the Pistons had to make moves to shake things up as both teams weren’t really going anywhere. Truth of the matter is, looks like both teams seem like they have no clue. Free agents will more than likely not sign in the summer. Best case scenario, pull a Philly, do a complete rebuild, obtain as many draft picks as possible and hate to say this, but “trust the process.”
*(Photo Source: espn.com)