Blake Griffin showed his commitment to the Los Angeles Clippers by signing a max deal with them during free agency over the summer. And how did they repay him? By trading him to Detroit several months later.
One of the most shocking elements of Monday’s trade that sent Griffin to the Pistons — aside from the lack of rumors preceding it — is that both sides seemed committed to each other. In fact, right after news of the trade came out, many pointed to the free agency pitch the Clippers delivered to Griffin, and how quickly things changed.
A big part of the Clippers’ pitch to convince Griffin to stay with them was that he would be a lifelong Clipper.
The Clippers held their free agent meeting with Griffin at Staples. They lowered the lights in the arena and raised his jersey to the rafters as a choir sang. The PA announcer said: "Tonight, we’re honoring a lifelong Clipper."
Translation? Yup, I was just as stunned as you were.
And really, who saw this coming? The Clippers entered the day in playoff contention in the West, and they seemed committed to trying to compete. They also sold Griffin as being a franchise player for the team when they got him to re-sign over the summer. And then they trade him? With no rumors about a potential trade coming? Yeah, that had to surprise everyone.
Trading Blake Griffin to Detroit on Monday may only be the beginning of the rebuilding process for the Los Angeles Clippers.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, who first reported news of the Griffin-to-Detroit trade, says that the Clippers aren’t stopping there. He reports that the team will also look to trade DeAndre Jordan and Lou Williams.
The Clippers also trading Jordan and Williams would make complete sense within the context of a franchise rebuild.
Jordan has a player option for next season and can choose to become a free agent after this season if he wants. Williams is under contract for $7 million this season and is set to become a free agent. He has been a total steal for the Clippers, giving them nearly All-Star levels of production.
The Los Angeles Clippers are sending Blake Griffin to the Detroit Pistons.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Monday that the two teams have finalized a trade, with Avery Bradley being one of the players who will be sent to L.A. The Clippers are also getting a first-round pick and a second-round pick.
The Clippers have agreed to a deal to send Blake Griffin to the Detroit Pistons, league sources tell ESPN.
There was speculation that the Pistons could include Andre Drummond in the deal, but it does not appear the big man is going anywhere.
Griffin signed a five-year max contract with the Clippers this past offseason, and they obviously feel that they need to start rebuilding. They’re 25-24 and currently the No. 9 seed in the West, while the Pistons are 22-26 and in the same spot in the East.
It’s anyone’s guess as to what the Pistons would be giving up. They could either be willing to give up Andre Drummond or seeking to put together some sort of big man pairing akin to what New Orleans did with Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins.
Of course, it’s hard to see how a deal works without a name like Drummond. The Pistons have made other fairly big names available, but it’s doubtful it would be enough to pry Griffin away from the Clippers in itself.
A lot of players were involved in a confrontation between the Rockets and Clippers that began on the court Monday night and spilled over into the locker room, but it sounds like Trevor Ariza was very much at the center of the embarrassing melee.
Ariza and Blake Griffin were ejected with just over a minute remaining in the game after they got into it. The two players walked down separate tunnels to their respective locker rooms, but Ariza’s blood obviously continued to boil. Reports indicated Ariza was one of several Rockets players who tried to enter the Houston locker room through a back hallway. According to Lee Jenkins of Sports Illustrated, Ariza tried to go after Griffin and was restrained by his teammates. He also had an ugly exchange with Austin Rivers.
According to a Rockets source, Ariza was waiting on Griffin, and when the game ended he charged from the hallway into the Clips locker room. When Rivers spotted Ariza near the entrance, according to the source, he said: “Let his b—– a– come in.” Ariza then turned his attention to Rivers.
ESPN reported that Ariza was flanked by three teammates—Harden, Paul and Gerald Green—but their purpose was unclear. “They were holding Trevor back,” the source said. Security was summoned and no punches were thrown…
The NBA is investigating exactly what happened between the two teams, and all of these accounts will likely be taken into consideration. Whatever the case, all the memes and tweets we saw provided a good summary of how much the Rockets and Clippers embarrassed themselves. What should have been the end of a regular season basketball game turned into an episode of “The Jerry Springer Show.”
Mike D’Antoni says that Blake Griffin hit him before the two exchanged curse words at each other, leading to double technicals.
Late in the Los Angeles Clippers’ win over the Houston Rockets on Monday night, Griffin and D’Antoni got into a heated exchange. Following the game, D’Antoni repeated that Griffin hit him, which instigated things.
Here’s video that seems to show Griffin going to make contact with the Rockets head coach:
Here's the play where Blake Griffin went right at D'Antoni on the way up the court, going out of bounds to bump him. D'Antoni complains about it immediately. pic.twitter.com/dwZeRJlxmv
Griffin previously wanted D’Antoni to get back to the coaching area.
As Griffin was coming down the court after the non-goaltend call, Griffin was yelling at D'Antoni to get out of the way or for him to get back in the coaches box. Then yelling at each other again after Griffin fouled. D'Antoni screaming back at him. Not nice words.
When the NBA goes through all the tape of the incidents between the teams, they will probably look at what happened between Griffin and D’Antoni. And don’t be surprised if Griffin is disciplined as a result.
“I talked to him the morning before it came out,” said Griffin. “He called me and just kind of told me everything. Like I told him on the phone, I wished him the best and appreciated the years we had together. That situation was handled the right way. You see other guys and other teammates go separate ways with a bad taste in their mouth because it wasn’t handled the right way.
“We shared a lot of moments together,” he added about Paul. “Some good. Some bad. Some just the mundane everyday sitting on the plane, sitting on the bus. When you share that much time with somebody, you have a connection. But now we’re in separate places and both moving forward.”
Griffin and Paul played together on the Clippers for five seasons as the two pillars of an exhilarating but overall disappointing era for the team. Some who shared the locker room with them have spoken negatively about the dynamic they had, but it sounds like it’s all love between the two stars themselves.