The Detroit Pistons and Los Angeles Clippers shocked the world when they pulled off a blockbuster trade that sent four-time All Star Blake Griffin, along with Willie Reed and Brice Johnson, to Detroit. The Clippers acquired forward Tobias Harris, guard Avery Bradley, center Boban Marjanovic, a top four protected first round pick in 2018, and a 2019 second round pick.
This trade came out of absolutely nowhere. We were aware that these teams may make deals, given their current positions, but this wasn’t in anyone’s mind. Detroit had been linked to Chicago Bulls center Nikola Mirotic and Utah Jazz shooting guard Rodney Hood (who they are reportedly still interested in as of this writing.) The Clippers on the other hand were reportedly looking to move center DeAndre Jordan and possibly guard Lou Williams. Now, Detroit acquired a star, and Los Angeles will rebuild on the fly.
When I initially heard about this trade, I was rather upset in all honesty. I have admitted to being a Pistons fan previously, so I follow the team quite a bit. After witnessing this team lose eight straight, I believed it was time for a rebuild.
However, after letting this sink in, I have made the following points from Detroit’s side:
- This move screams desperation. A team that wants to win now has gone from being a legitimate threat to falling out of the playoffs was feeling the pressure and decided to make a snap decision. Stan Van Gundy may tell you he’s not feeling pressured, but would a high school student tell a teacher if they cheated on a test?
- A shakeup was most definitely needed. As mentioned, the Pistons are on an eight game losing streak. They were once a legitimate threat, having beaten the Boston Celtics, Oklahoma City Thunder, Golden State Warriors, and a healthy Clippers team. Yet, this Pistons team was on its way down before losing Reggie Jackson.
- This trade has much more risk than the personnel. Griffin has had injury problems in the past and hasn’t played 80 games in any season since 2013-14. I addition, he also hasn’t made it past the second round of the playoffs. He seems to rely more on his athleticism than anything else, which may work in, say, football. However, I have doubts that this will work in the NBA, especially in today’s iteration of the game.
- This move also accomplishes the seemingly impossible task of drawing fans to Little Caesars Arena, so there’s that.
From the Clippers point of view:
- There is a clear changing of the guard in LA, and this is just the first shoe to drop. Jordan and Williams will be next, and they might even be able to flip Bradley, though I doubt it.
- It’s the perfect time for this rebuild. With the Houston Rockets, San Antonio Spurs, and Warriors locking down the West, it’d be hard to imagine the Clippers really making any noise. Now, they’ll stock up on young players in order to take aim at the conference when those three teams begin to decline.
- This might signal the end of Doc Rivers in LA. Remember, he didn’t want to be apart of a rebuild in Boston, and that’s why he was traded. With an on-the-fly rebuild commencing, I doubt he sees it through.
- It’s possible we’re beginning to see a change in the way the Clips handle the on-court philosophy. Jerry West came in from Golden State and now looks to be transitioning the team to more of a depth-oriented style, instead of acquiring stars and using players such as Austin Rivers on the bench.
This is pretty much how I see things from both perspectives, let me know what you thought of the deal!
Follow Tristin McKinstry on Twitter @SickeningSum86 and follow The Athletes Hub on Twitter @HubOfAthletes.
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