The Blake Griffin era has come to a close in LA.
The Los Angeles Clippers traded the former number one overall pick to the Detroit Pistons Monday night, marking the end of the team’s former franchise player.
Just last summer, the Clippers made Griffin one of the highest paid players in the NBA when they granted him with a five-year, $171 million shortly after Chris Paul’s departure. To some, the large contract showed their commitment to Griffin and building around him.
I guess not.
Now the five-time All-Star is headed to the Motor City in exchange for Avery Bradley, Tobias Harris, Boban Marjanovic, and first and second round picks.
The move has both short and long-term gains for the Clippers. They’re able to hand-off Griffin’s large contract (he’ll make $32 million next year) and they absorb some young talent, with some whose contracts will be up after this season.
The trading of Griffin opens much needed room under the salary cap with the hopes that the Clippers can attract top free agent talent next summer.
The Pistons however gain a bonafide superstar. Something they haven’t had in years. Although Griffin hasn’t made an All-Star appearance 2015, he still has quite a big marketing draw.
The trading of Griffin may come to a surprise to some, but not to others. Griffin was injury prone, and hasn’t spent a full season on the court in years. Despite giving him the large contract this summer, the Clippers still had their ears open for potential suitors.
Now with Paul and Griffin both gone, it’s just a matter of time before DeAndre Jordan gets a new home. If the Clippers are truly really in rebuilding mode, then they’ll sure be looking for any takers for the defensive star.