News about the five-time All-Star being let go by the Los Angeles Clippers—with Willie Reed and Brice Johnson (who?) for Tobias Harris, Avery Bradley, Boban Marjanovic, and two draft picks—spread like wildfire earlier today and caught everyone off guard, including the centerpiece of the blockbuster deal:
You can't blame Griffin. The Clippers convinced him to re-sign during the offseason (five-year, $171-million) reportedly with an elaborate mock jersey retirement, not to mention the trade rumors usually involve his teammates DeAndre Jordan and Lou Williams. But it looks like the other LA team is ready to move on after a fluky start to the season (25-24, 9th) and undergo a roster overhaul.
As for the Pistons, acquiring the versatile power forward bolsters their chances at a playoff berth in the second half of the basketball calendar—that is if he manages to stay healthy (he missed a total of 68 games over his last two seasons). How he will coexist with Andre Drummond is also an interesting prospect, especially in a league dominated by small-ball lineups.
We can discuss the implications of this deal some other time; expect a few more of these player swaps as the trade deadline approaches. For now, a mixtape of Griffin's best dunk each year—whether posters or alleyoop windmills—is the fitting tribute to his underrated run with the Clippers.
That time when he introduced himself to the NBA through a hapless Timofey Mozgov
That time when apparently he wasn't done humiliating opposing big men
That time when he added flair to an already fancy Jamal Crawford alleyoop
That time when he brought Showtime to Clipperland even for just one night
That time when he almost ended Aron Baynes' career with consecutive posters
That time when he showed that he still got it and made Miles Plumlee rethink his life