With the NBA trade deadline only a few days away on Feb. 18, the trade rumors continue to circulate with some big-name players potentially headed elsewhere. One of those star players rumored to be on the trading block is Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin.
Doc Rivers and company have downplayed any notion that the team is ready to trade Griffin before Thursday’s deadline. Although the Clippers brass has refuted any claims that Griffin is on the block, ESPN’s Chris Broussard says the star forward and Lance Stephenson were offered to the Denver Nuggets in a blockbuster deal via Pro Basketball Talk:
“I was told that the Clippers actually called Denver and offered Blake Griffin and Lance Stephenson for Danilo Gallinari, Kenneth Faried, Nikola Jokic and Will Barton. And Denver turned it down.”
Griffin has dealt with injury problems all season long and recently made matters worse due to an altercation with a member of the team’s equipment staff. Griffin suffered a broken right hand in the altercation and will be out quite some time with the injury and a suspension that will follow once he’s healthy.
At this point in the 2015-16 NBA season, the San Antonio Spurs and reigning NBA champion Golden State Warriors have proven to be the two best teams in the Western Conference. The Clippers and Oklahoma City Thunder are also considered to be threats in the West, but the consensus seems to be that Golden State or San Antonio will be NBA Finals bound.
It’s no surprise the Clippers front office would start to explore trade scenarios with there seemingly being a big gap between this team and the West’s elite class. Rivers and company may ultimately make a deal, but could find it difficult to pull off a blockbuster involving Griffin.
As for the Los Angeles Lakers, it’s highly unlikely the team has any assets the Clippers would be interested in outside of the young core. The Lakers have been reluctant to make D’Angelo Russell, Jordan Clarkson, and Julius Randle available, meaning a deal for Griffin or trade talks involving these three players probably won’t happen before the deadline.