In a move that shocked the NBA, especially fans in Los Angeles, the Clippers traded All Star power forward Blake Griffin to the Detroit Pistons. The trade had been speculated all day after it was first reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter.
In the off season the Clippers and Griffin came to an agreement worth more than $171 million over five years so the trade came as a complete surprise to everyone. Previous trade rumors had included center DeAndre Jordan and and shooting guard Lou Williams and those could still become a reality. But with Griffin off the team it’s less likely Jordan and Williams will be traded.
In his 7.5 years with the Clippers Griffin averaged 21.6 points, 9.3 rebounds and 4.2 assists and 35.1 minutes per game. He has played in 504 games for Los Angeles, all of them starts.
Along with Griffin, the Clippers are sending forward Brice Johnson and center Willie Reed.
In a press release Clippers owner and Chairman Steve Ballmer said, “Blake Griffin had a tremendous impact on this organization and his legacy within the community of Los Angeles will be permanent. It was a pleasure getting to know and cheer for Blake. I wish him, as well as Brice and Willie, the best of luck. While change is hard, my confidence in our front office, led by Lawrence Frank and Michael Winger, along with the sage counsel of Jerry West, has never been higher. I believe today, more than ever, in our ultimate goal of winning an NBA Championship.”
In return Los Angeles will get forward Tobias Harris, guard Avery Bradley, center Boban Marjanovic, a 2018 Protected First Round Pick, and a 2019 Second Round Pick. It’s a clear sign the Clippers are looking for at least a partial rebuild with younger players.
Tobias Harris is 25, has appeared in 48 games for Detroit, all of them starts and he averaged 18.1 points, 5.1 rebounds and 2.0 assists, per. He shot 40.9% from three-point range and played 32.6 minutes per game. Harris is 6’9” and 235 pounds. Over his seven year career the forward has appeared in 432 career games the Milwaukee Bucks, Orlando Magic and Detroit. his career averages are 14.3 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 29.3 minutes. He was selected 19th overall by Milwaukee out of the University of Tennessee in 2011 In 2010 he was a 2010 McDonald’s All-American.
Avery Bradley spent seven seasons with the Boston Celtics before being traded to Detroit for Marcus Morris. Over his career Bradley averaged 12.1 points per game, but since the 2013-14 season his average has been 15 points per game.
Boban Marjanovic, 29, has played three seasons in the NBA, the first two with the San Antonio Spurs. Prior to that he played in Europe; Serbia, Russia and Lithuania. He was named a first team All-EuroLeague player in 2015 and was a Serbian League MVP three times.
The Clippers will look a lot different without their former star player when they take the Staples Center floor tonight against the Portland Trailblazers.
Photo of Blake Griffin by Claudia Gestro
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