By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
The Los Angeles Clippers have made a blockbuster deal with the Detroit Pistons. Blake Griffin will have a new team after this deal.
Griffin has been shipped to the Pistons. In exchange for the former No. 1 overall pick, the Clippers acquired Tobias Harris, Avery Bradley, and Boban Marjanovic.
Los Angeles is also receiving a first-and-second-round draft pick in the package.
The Pistons are also receiving forward Brice Johnson and center Willie Reed in the package.
Despite this blockbuster deal, the Clippers say they’re not gutting or tanking, even though they dealt away their biggest star. Griffin even signed a five-year, $173 million extension with the team in the summertime.
“Blake Griffin had a tremendous impact on this organization and his legacy within the community of Los Angeles will be permanent,” Clippers owner Steve Ballmer said. “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.”
The Clippers are also going to be talking to teams about center DeAndre Jordan and reserve Lou Williams. They would like to acquire young players and draft picks if they can rid themselves of these two players.
Griffin, 28, is the team’s former No. 1 overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft. He spent eight seasons with the team after missing his rookie season due to an injury. In his career, he’s averaging 21.6 points, 9.3 rebounds, and 4.2 assists in 35.1 minutes per game in 504 starts.
He was second in franchise history with 10,863 points. In a little more than six months, the team traded away its two biggest stars, as Chris Paul was traded to the Houston Rockets in July.
“Blake is one of the best players ever to wear a Clippers jersey,” Lawrence Frank, Clippers President of Basketball Operations said. “We want to express our gratitude and respect for everything he has done for this team and the City of Los Angeles. This was a very difficult decision, but ultimately felt it was appropriate for the franchise. We would also like to thank Brice and Willie for their contributions to our organization.”
Harris, 25, joins his fourth NBA team, as he previously played for the Milwaukee Bucks, Orlando Magic and the Pistons. He made 48 starts with the Pistons this season, averaging 18.1 points, 5.1 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game.
Harris is expected to start for the Clippers right away. He has career averages of 14.3 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 29.3 minutes per game.
Bradley, 27, made 40 starts with the Pistons this season and averaged 15 points, 2.4 rebounds and 1.15 steals in 31.7 minutes per game. He was acquired by the Pistons in a trade with the Boston Celtics in the off-season.
He has appeared in 453 NBA games in his career. He has 12.4 points, 3.0 rebounds and 1.09 steals in 28.4 minutes per game over his career.
Marjanović, 29, will be joining his third team, as he also played for the San Antonio Spurs, before joining the Pistons. He appeared in 19 games, including one start, averaging 6.2 points and 3.0 rebounds in 9 minutes per game.
The 7-foot-3 center has appeared in 108 games in his NBA career, averaging 5.6 points and 3.5 rebounds in 9 minutes per game.
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