Clippers trade star Blake Griffin to Detroit for Avery Bradley, Tobias Harris, and draft picks

January 29, 2018

The rebuild has officially started.

The Los Angeles Clippers announced that the team has traded star forward Blake Griffin to the Detroit Pistons for essentially some spare parts -- Tobias Harris, guard Avery Bradley, center Boban Marjanovic, a 2018 Protected First Round Pick, and a 2019 Second Round Pick.  The Clippers also included forward Brice Johnson and center Willie Reed in the deal.

“Blake is one of the best players ever to wear a Clippers jersey. 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 we ultimately felt it was appropriate for the franchise,” said Lawrence Frank, President of Basketball Operations. “We would also like to thank Brice and Willie for their contributions to our organization.”

Griffin brought an unprecedented level of excitement and success to one of the league's most pathetic franchises.  His high-flying dunks and overall skills produced nightly highlights, and propelled the team to multiple playoff appearances.

Unfortunately, Griffin often struggled with injuries along the way, contributing to the Clippers' inability to reach the Western Conference Finals.

Griffin, 28, the former No. 1 pick of the Clippers in the 2009 NBA Draft, spent eight seasons with the Clippers. He holds career averages of 21.6 points, 9.3 rebounds and 4.2 assists in 35.1 minutes in 504 games (all starts). The 2011 NBA Rookie of the Year, he was selected to five NBA All-Star games. He ranks second in franchise history in scoring (10,863 points, 21.6 ppg).

“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,” said Steve Ballmer, Chairman of the L.A. Clippers.

With Griffin gone -- just months after star guard Chris Paul was traded to Houston -- the Clippers have undoubtedly decided to start from scratch, effectively admitting that its veteran core from recent seasons just wasn't good enough to win a title.

That means that veterans Lou Williams and DeAndre Jordan likely will be involved in trade talks as well.

The return for Griffin wasn't spectacular to say the least, as the team received good role players, but no legit star.  Moreover, the more coveted of the two picks is merely a protected first round selection.

Meanwhile, the Pistons are going in the opposite direction, gearing themselves up for a strong run in the Eastern Conference, as the frontline tandem of Griffin and Andre Drummond should complement each other well and cause numerous matchup problems.

“We’re pleased to welcome Blake Griffin, Willie Reed and Brice Johnson to the Detroit Pistons,” said President and Head Coach Stan Van Gundy.  “Blake has been an All-NBA performer, he’s a five-time all-star and a player that commands attention whenever he’s on the floor.  His presence will help us offensively and his size gives us another rebounder and weapon in the paint.  Willie Reed and Brice Johnson are two young players that give us size and depth.”

Harris, 25, has appeared in 48 games (all starts) for Detroit this season, averaging 18.1 points, 5.1 rebounds and 2.0 assists, while shooting 40.9% from three-point range in 32.6 minutes. The 6’9” 235-pound forward has appeared in 432 career games across seven NBA seasons with Milwaukee, Orlando and Detroit, holding career averages of 14.3 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 29.3 minutes.

Bradley, 27, is an outstanding perimeter defender who has appeared in 40 games (all starts) for Detroit this season, averaging 15.0 points, 2.4 rebounds and 1.15 steals, while shooting 38.1% from three-point range in 31.7 minutes. The 6’2”, 180-pound guard has appeared in 453 career games across eight NBA seasons with Boston and Detroit, holding career averages of 12.4 points, 3.0 rebounds and 1.09 steals in 28.4 minutes. Bradley was named to the 2016 NBA All-Defensive First Team and 2013 NBA All-Defensive Second Team.

Marjanovic, 29, has appeared in 19 games (one start) for Detroit this season, averaging 6.2 points and 3.0 rebounds in 9.0 minutes. The 7’3”, 290-pound center has appeared in 108 career games across three NBA seasons with San Antonio and Detroit, holding career averages of 5.6 points and 3.5 rebounds in 9.0 minutes.

Reed, 27, has appeared in 39 games this season, averaging 4.9 points, 3.1 rebounds and 0.56 blocks in 10.7 minutes per game.  The 6-foot-11 center has career averages of 5.0 points and 3.9 rebounds in 149 games with Brooklyn and Miami.

Johnson, 23, was drafted by the Clippers out of North Carolina with the 25th selection in the 2016 NBA Draft.  The 6-foot-10 forward has appeared in nine games this season, averaging 1.8 points, 1.4 rebounds and 4.2 minutes per game.

By Staff of and news services

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