Blake Griffin has been the hot topic in the trade rumor mill as of late, initially because the Clippers were off to a 13-3 start after Griffin went down with a quad injury, and then the scenario magnified after Griffin broke his hand in a fight with a Clippers equipment manager. Suddenly it became less of a rumor and more of a legitimate discussion, as people like ESPN’s Zach Lowe began speculating if the Clippers might be better off trading their 26-year-old star to make improvements in other areas of need.
Just today the Clippers were reportedly in contact with the Denver Nuggets and the Philadelphia 76ers about a potential Griffin trade, via Sam Amico of Fox Sports:
Both Sixers and Nuggets have had discussions with Clippers about Blake Griffin, per league sources. @sn_nba earlier reported Nuggets talks.
— Sam Amico (@AmicoHoops) February 5, 2016
Despite the inquiries, head coach and GM Doc Rivers has since adamantly denied that Griffin will be traded, from Ben Bolch of the LA Times:
Doc Rivers: "Blake's ours and he's going to stay ours."
— Ben Bolch (@latbbolch) February 5, 2016
Get some of my thoughts on the initial Blake trade reports on this episode of Two Guard Front.
It’s prudent to at least test the field to see what kind of return you could get for Griffin, which it seems like the Clippers have done, but Doc Rivers strikes me as the type to choose loyalty over drastic measures. Griffin would demand a bountiful return from any team, but as a result the Clippers would have the challenge of re-calibrating chemistry. While most believe the Clippers still aren’t ready for the likes of, oh, I don’t know, Golden State even with Blake Griffin healthy, trading him might create an even bigger setback.
At least for now, it seems Doc Rivers is banking on getting his team back to full strength and going from there. Any big time moves by the Clippers may be put on hold until the offseason, depending on what kind of postseason run they’re able to make.