Jerry West has arrived in LA in a big way. Just a few weeks ago Jerry West arrived and was willing to say what no one else in the Clippers organization was willing to admit, the current core had maxed out their potential. This move gives the Clippers a clear direction, the Clippers are going to rebuild. Signing Blake Griffin makes no sense at this point; if they were to re-sign him the Clippers would just be treading water to try to put a marketable team on the floor. Jerry West is too smart of an executive to do that. This move also shows that the Clippers are willing to make sign and trades without receiving equal value in return. Patrick Beverly, Lou Williams, Sam Dekker and what will end up being a late first round pick for Chris Paul?? Come on, that’s highway robbery.
If I’m Danny Ainge I am getting on the phone with Doc Rivers right now and seeing if the Clippers would be willing to work out a similar sign and trade for Blake Griffin. I understand that Gordon Hayward and Paul George are the first options but if the Celtics are able to shed some salary by trading for Blake Griffin and not have given up as much as you would if you were to trade for Paul George you have to at least explore that option. Kevin O’Connor of the Ringer reported that there is some doubt among NBA executives and agents that Blake will get max money on the open market given his injury history. If the Celtics can operate sign and trades for both Paul George and Blake Griffin and Blake agrees to take slightly under max money it might give them enough cap relief to keep a player like Avery Bradley around. Or they could sign Gordon Hayward and then sign and trade for Blake. Either way, it’s a situation definitely worth exploring for Danny,
Blake also has a higher upside than Gordon Hayward. When Blake Griffin is healthy he is undoubtedly a better player than Gordon Hayward. That health is a big if though. Blake is also a better fit on the roster. Paul George, Gordon Hayward, Jaylen Brown, and Jason Tatum all play SF. Even with the NBA roster expanding next season that is just way too many small forwards, and this scenario is assuming Jae Crowder is gone in some sort of trade. A starting lineup of IT, Avery, PG13, Blake, and Horford is flat out scary. The Celtics would likely need to deplete their bench to do this but if they are going to beat a team like the Warriors it might be a risk worth taking.