L.A. Clippers Trade Blake Griffin to the Detroit Pistons

Blake Griffin
via Verse Photography / CC-BY-SA-2.0

There was a big move in the NBA on Monday night (Jan. 29), when the L.A. Clippers traded All-Star Blake Griffin to the Detroit Pistons.

The deal will send Blake to Detroit, in exchange for Tobias Harris, Avery Bradley, Boban Marjanovic, and a first- and second-round draft pick. In addition, the Clippers will send Brice Johnson and Willie Reed to Detroit.

“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 in a statement Monday. “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,” he continued. “I believe today, more than ever, in our ultimate goal of winning an NBA championship.”

Apparently, the trade talks began last week, before the discussions accelerated as Monday came around.

Blake appeared shocked about the news, taking to Twitter and posting a gif of Will Smith with a shocked look from the 1990s sitcom, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

Tuesday morning (Jan. 30), he released a full statement expressing his gratitude for Los Angeles and the Clippers, while looking to the “next chapter”.

According to ESPN, Los Angeles will continue looking for a trade for Lou Williams and DeAndre Jordan, as they plan to focus on young players and draft picks

News of Blake’s trade follows a massive deal he inked with the organization over the summer. He signed a five-year, $171 million deal, which did not include a no-trade clause.

After signing the deal, Blake said, “I want my legacy to be a Clipper.”

In seven seasons, he’s averaged 21.6 points, 9.3 rebounds and 4.2 assists. This season, he is averaging 22.6 points, 7.9 rebounds and 5.4 assists in 33 games, while the Clippers have a 25-24 record and are in ninth place in the Western Conference.

However, Griffin’s career has been marred by injuries. After being drafted with the No. 1 pick in the 2009 NBA draft, he broke his left kneecap, had surgery and missed the entire 2009-10 season. He did return the following season and was selected as an All-Star, won the NBA Slam Dunk Contest, and was named the NBA Rookie of the Year.

In the seasons followed, he’s missed time for a number of injuries, missing 21 games in 2017 and 47 in 2016.