Who Won The Blockbuster Trade For Blake Griffin?!

Credit: Aaron Gash / Associated Press

Who Won The Blockbuster Trade For Blake Griffin?!


You guys know what time it is, let’s go ahead and dissect this trade from top to bottom.

At this point, there are a lot of people on each side of the fence saying the Clippers won or the Pistons won this trade, and it’s important to note both have valid points that we will touch on and iron out as we progress.

In case anyone missed it, these are the full details of the trade:

CLIPPERS GET: Tobias Harris, Avery Bradley, Boban Marjanovic, 1st round pick and 2nd round pick

PISTONS GET: Blake Griffin, Willie Reed, Brice Johnson



The Pistons point of view is a little less clear than the obvious direction the Clippers have opted for. The Pistons did land a “star” in the league in Blake Griffin, but it has come at a cost. The question is, was the cost too high? In my opinion, it was a little high but not crazy. Personally, I absolutely love Avery Bradley’s game and losing him will hurt the Pistons, but despite his attributes, it may have been a necessary move to let him go and get something in return. This is because Bradley will be a free agent come this summer. He’s only making 8.9 million this season, but will certainly demand and look for much more this off season. Now, the Pistons could have tried to convince him to re-sign, but it’s unlikely they would have hung onto him given his pedigree and the demand for elite defensive guards around the association. In that sense, moving him is not as bad as it initially looks. The one that is much more significant is actually the departure of Tobias Harris, who has been excellent for large portions of the season for them. In my opinion, to let Harris go was counter-productive, as he was their starting small forward and a piece they could have continued to develop and take forward with this new look front court. Of course getting Griffin was going to take something significant, but the departure of Harris hurts them a fair bit in the grand scheme of things at a time where wing and perimeter players are paramount for achieving anything sort of success in the league. The inclusion of Boban Marjanovic and the the draft picks is also questionable. Not so much Boban, because its difficult to play less agile centers significant minutes in the league nowadays if they don’t stretch the floor, but the draft picks are another “ouch” for the Pistons. The first rounder especially, as they’ve sacrificed a-bit of their future to put all their eggs in the ability of their front court.



The direction of the Clippers is much clearer – focusing mostly on rebuilding for the future. It does come with a bit of a twist as it’s been reported that the Clippers still want to stay competitive all whilst continuing their discussions with Deandre Jordan and Lou Williams. They’re entertaining package offers for both players which will include young talent and future draft picks. By picking up Harris and Bradley from Detroit, they secured the services of two starting players that can keep their playoff chances alive, all while receiving some future picks and keeping an ear open for others that come around for Jordan and Williams. Boban will see minutes if Jordan is dealt and the draft picks sweeten the deal. With that being said, I think they did an excellent job in maximizing what they got for Griffin. Bradley’s expiring contract dampens it a little but overall I believe they took a step in the right direction of re-building and reshaping this roster.



The reason why I give the slight edge to the Clippers on this trade is because I don’t believe Blake Griffin is as good as he’s perceived as. He may put up “Star” numbers when he’s healthy, but he’s in no way shape or form a superstar in my opinion. His health is also an issue, as its regressed as the years have gone by and so has his production and potential from when he entered the league. Yes, Griffin is an upgrade over Harris in the forward positions, but I’m not sure I would bank on Griffin if I had high hopes for my franchise moving forward in the distant future.



The beauty about the NBA is that it can change in an instant. The other crazy thing is a trade for one particular player can change the course of several others. With Griffin being dealt, the future of Williams and Jordan becomes a lot more complicated. How do they feel at the moment? Do they want to be there knowing they won’t really contend in the foreseeable future? More so for Jordan, I believe he’s more likely to be traded if they decide to tear it all down. Conversely, Williams may look to stick around and get the pay day he’s always wanted due to all this. One thing is for sure, the phone would be ringing off the hook about the future of these two, and I believe they should go all in on this re-build and deal at least one of them whilst their value is still high for some young talent and draft picks.



As we’ve established, this trade effects other players, and another one is Andre Drummond. It’s fair to say Drummond is the main man in Detroit, but he and Griffin now pose one of the more frightening front courts in the Eastern Conference. The Clippers may have got exactly what they wanted, but the Pistons still got the “star” in the deal. I’ve said what I think about Griffin’s game, but like I mentioned, when he’s healthy he’s still someone that can get his and improve any roster’s overall talent and capabilities. I actually love this, and I think he’ll do really well next to Drummond in the hard nosed environment. It may get abit crowded under the basket at times, but with Griffin’s willingness to now step out at three-point line and take perimeter shots, it makes the transition for both players much easier. All in all I’m intrigued to see how this tandem plays out, and I hope it’s fruitful.



The thing about the Eastern Conference that a lot of front offices don’t realize is that one trade can realistically put you among the best teams in the Conference. It’s good for the East to bring in star power, and Detroit now have a duo that can build around and really see how far they want to go with this thing. They’ve given up some of their future but it’s interesting to see the Pistons try and bridge the gap between themselves and the elite in the East to climb up the standings. It’s good for the fans and it’s good for the league.


Since the trade went down I’ve gone back and forth with who I think won this trade and it may change again, but for now, I’ll give the edge to the Clippers, just. I think they received a great deal for a player who isn’t a superstar whilst his value was still somewhat high around the league. If their overall direction is eventually a complete rebuild, I believe the trade is a good one for them.

In saying that, don’t get me wrong, I still do like the Griffin-Drummond front court, but for a recently injury-plagued star, the Clippers may have chosen exactly the right time to part ways with him.

Both franchises now look completely different moving forward. You never know what’s around the corner in this league.

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