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#pounditTuesday, February 27, 2024

Report: Lakers, Clippers are finalists for 1 notable free agent

LeBron James looking on

Jan 21, 2022; Orlando, Florida, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (6) against the Orlando Magic during the first quarter at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Lakers and the Clippers may be jostling for one prominent free agent like a Downtown Los Angeles parking spot.

Matt Steinmetz of 95.7 The Game reported this week that six-time All-Star Blake Griffin is liking headed back to L.A. to play for either of the two local teams. This was also later confirmed by Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer.

The 33-year-old Griffin, an unrestricted free agent this summer, was drafted by the Clippers in 2009 and spent the first nine years of his career there. But a reunion seems unlikely for a couple of reasons. The Clippers do not really have a need for Griffin these days unless Isaiah Hartenstein and/or Nicolas Batum leave in free agency. Meanwhile, Griffin himself may still have some bad blood over the stunning 2018 trade that sent him to the Detroit Pistons, which was overseen by owner Steve Ballmer and executives Lawrence Frank and Jerry West (all of whom are still the Clippers’ key decision-makers).

That would appear to make the Lakers the likelier landing spot for the ex-Dunk Contest champion Griffin. They have some shoring up to do in the frontcourt with Dwight Howard and Carmelo Anthony hitting free agency. That said, it makes perfect sense that Griffin would want to return to L.A. considering some of his non-basketball ventures.


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