If you haven’t heard or missed the late hustle inclusion to issue 31, the Los Angeles Clippers swung a blockbuster trade, sending the five-time All-Star Blake Griffin to the Detroit Pistons.
All of this just seven months after Griffin signed a lengthy contract extension, and put on an elaborate free-agency pitch, complete with a mock ceremony and lifted a banner to simulate a jersey retirement. 😬 The Clippers are kinda viewed as one of the most dysfunctional franchises in the history of North American professional sports. And instances like Monday night, drive this point to a new level.
However, I think the Clippers did a great thing for their franchise despite whatever has happened before. They’re finally embracing the idea of a full-on rebuild and didn’t want to continue to carry the burden of a 5-year $171-million contract. The Pistons, on the other hand, went all in on something that might only marginally improve their hopes of reaching the playoffs this season and beyond.
The dynamic between Pistons now big guys, Griffin and Drummond, is the enormous gamble here. One that resembles a less versatile version of what the Pelicans did with Cousins and Davis. The league is heading in a direction that favors smaller, quicker teams and this might fall straight back into Detroit’s lap.
But, the Pistons needed to keep moving forward and it was a bet Detroit had to make. The move could be looked at being smart or desperate. If you buy into the notion that the injury-prone Griffin, is still one of the top 10 biggest stars in the league, then yeah, sweet move! Or if it smells of desperation, it’s because you see the writing on the wall. By the 2019-20 season, these 2 players are costing Detroit more than $61 million in salary, and finding pieces to fit around them now, could be challenging.
Catch you Monday.