The Clippers can still build around Blake Griffin

The Chris Paul trade was radically forced on a Clippers. All indications are that Los Angeles was fervent to re-sign both Paul and Blake Griffin in sequence to run behind some chronicle of a common self in their perennially destroyed Western Conference chase.


When CP3 became assured he wanted to play with James Harden and a Rockets, a Clippers salvaged some pieces by similar to a trade instead of examination Paul travel for nothing. Now, they wait to see what Griffin decides to do.

Some, including a possess Michael D. Sykes II, have argued that a Clippers should make a purify mangle from a Lob City epoch by vouchsafing Griffin walk. It’s loyal that as currently assembled a Clippers can’t hang with a Warriors, Rockets, or Spurs (L.A. couldn’t even kick Utah with Paul!) The thought is that a Clippers could keep their top piece purify going into 2018 and try to yield a soothing alighting mark for mixed superstars anticipating to group adult in a large market.

The problem is that this regulation has usually ever worked once in a oppulance taxation era: in Miami, where a Heat already had one of a superstars (Dwyane Wade) in tow. The Lakers and Knicks — distant some-more prestigious franchises than a Clippers — have attempted this thought regularly given 2010 to no avail. The thought that a Clippers are going to offer as horde to a Paul George/Russell Westbrook pairing or some incarnation of a LeBron James/Carmelo Anthony society is fantastical.

It could happen. But it’s a unequivocally bad bet.

Rebuilding is a bad bet, too. DeAndre Jordan has a actor choice for 2018-19 that he’ll expected decline, creation him a let from this indicate forward. Renting a $23 million core in this income top sourroundings will be a tough sell for many teams.

L.A. differently has small in a approach of intriguing immature prospects over what a Clippers perceived in a CP3 trade in Sam Dekker and Montrezl Harrell. Veterans Jamal Crawford, Lou Williams, and Austin Rivers are on contracts that are inapt for rebuilding clubs. (Patrick Beverley, also acquired in a CP3 understanding is a exception. He’s on a high-value take of a contract, possibly we trade or keep him.)

This is to contend zero of Doc Rivers, who has already ditched a authorization since he didn’t wish to understanding with a rebuild. If a Clippers remove Griffin too, will Doc be distant behind?

The Clippers have famous a hinterlands all too well, and that’s not a place they should lapse to willingly. Finding a approach to remix a new core and contest for playoff berths while staying appealing to intensity giveaway agents is a improved play.

Griffin is during a core of this.

Griffin played one deteriorate before Paul arrived in Los Angeles. In that season, he was a unanimous Rookie of a Year notwithstanding prolific debuts from John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins. That was a losing deteriorate for a Clippers — L.A. was impossibly forward with a ball, had usually dual decent shooters on a roster, and were terribly unsuitable on invulnerability — though Griffin showed measureless promise. He over it once Paul arrived during a finish of a 2011 NBA lockout.

Over time, Griffin became some-more than a fantastic dunker. He’s one of a best flitting large group in a league, and he has a unequivocally clever altogether building diversion aggressive from a high post. He’s suggestive of Kings epoch Chris Webber in that he’s lethal in 3 ways from 20 feet, a best actor on a building many nights, and a loyal centerpiece with unequivocally specific needs around him.

The Clippers have some of those needs already filled. Jordan is an chosen defender, rebounder, and finisher. Beverley is a transparent hillside from CP3, though he’s a lockdown defender, a clever low-mistake set-up man, and lethal on catch-and-shoot action. Because Beverley will use so many fewer confidence than Paul did, Griffin will have a bigger role. Odds are he’ll use them well.

Having Chris Paul would be improved than not carrying Chris Paul. This is obvious. But as we saw with Russell Westbrook in Oklahoma City, losing a luminary teammate can enthuse a one left behind to new heights. From this angle, a post-CP3 Clippers are improved set adult to support Griffin’s skills and needs than a post-Durant Thunder were set adult to fill in around Westbrook. (In other words, a Thunder had no shooting, that is a primary need around Westbrook.)

The Thunder couldn’t legitimately tank once Durant left, and it’d be unpleasant for a Clippers to try to do that, too. The fold is that L.A. now contingency remonstrate Griffin to hang around since Westbrook unequivocally had no choice. If Griffin decamps for Miami, Boston, or anywhere else, a Clippers will be in a bind.

Rivers, Steve Ballmer, and Jerry West can sell Griffin on a Clippers group built around not a CP3-Griffin pairing, though built around Griffin himself, with his crony Jordan a ideal co-star. They can sell Griffin on a resounding reputation-repairing MVP debate where he runs a uncover and has a shot during vengeance.

Perhaps L.A. can have it both ways. Griffin could ink a three-year understanding with a 2019 opt-out, that lets possibly side bail comparatively shortly if things go sideways. This would also concede Griffin to get to a 35 percent max understanding earlier than if he signs a full 5-year deal. It depends on how most income confidence means to Griffin vs. income maximization.

The Clippers are in a worse place on Thursday than they were on Tuesday. But this can be salvaged. The Clippers can still be a best group in L.A. for years to come. It’s only going to have a reduce roof for now, and a opposite centerpiece.

That is, if Blake Griffin wants to hang around.


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