The Los Angeles Clippers shocked the sports world when it was announced they would be trading former No. 1 overall pick and franchise cornerstone Blake Griffin to the Detroit Pistons. In return, the Clippers will be receiving a promising haul including Tobias Harris, Avery Bradley and two future draft picks. The deal truly signifies new beginnings in Clipperland.
Here are three more moves LA can make to keep the engine moving:
Saying Goodbye to Lob City
It was just two off-seasons ago when Griffin and Chris Paul barricaded DeAndre Jordan in his home with the hopes of keeping him away from the Dallas Mavericks. Time truly does fly.
Jordan remains as the lone straggler from the days of the “Lob City” crew. He’s also the hottest commodity on the current roster. Cleveland has been an intriguing destination for Jordan, but it remains to be seen if the Cavaliers have the assets to pull off such a move (unless the Brooklyn pick is involved).
Milwaukee makes a bit more sense from the Clippers’ perspective. They have enough middling pieces to keep the Clippers relevant for this season, and the draft capital to make a deal worthwhile. Maker is the prized piece from the Bucks here — as the 7-footer is oozing with potential.
Sell High on Lou Williams
Williams has been a revelation for the Clippers this season. Although he’s integral to their success this year, it would likely behoove the team to move the 31-year old while his stock is peaking.
A bevy of contending teams could use Williams’ unique blend of shot making and ball handling. The Thunder have a clear need for their bench unit — though the Spurs, Cavaliers, and Celtics all could use extra scoring punch. A Huestis-Abrines haul isn’t very sexy for the Clippers, but grabbing an additional first-round pick along with the two young players is a nice coup for Williams (who is slated to become a free agent after this year).
Find a Danilo Gallinari Suitor
Who says no? Probably all three teams, but there’s some merit to a deal like this. In an effort to make a playoff push, New York gets a capable rebounder/defender that can play alongside Porzingis. The Clippers save a few million dollars over the next few years by adding Noah (who they would eventually buy-out). The Cavaliers add a dynamic scorer with the ability to create his own shot.
However, Noah’s deal makes him even more unmovable than Gallinari given that he’s currently a virtual zero on the court. Thompson will likely be used in a bigger deal, and Gallinari doesn’t do much in helping Cleveland’s porous defensive woes.
Gallinari’s absurd contract looms over the head of LA’s front office. Given his salary and extensive injury history, it’s unlikely they unload him without a sweetener in the deal. The Clips will have to be creative in order to get him off the books.
The next month will be very telling for the Clippers moving forward. Currently slotted as the No. 9 seed in the Western Conference, it will be intriguing to see if they decide to make a playoff push or completely blow it up.
Only time will tell.
Sources: Trades per ESPN Trade Machine, Jayne Kamin-Oncea/USA TODAY Sports