We suggest one trade the LA Clippers could make with the Detroit Pistons.
The LA Clippers share a recent history of making blockbuster trades with today’s partner, the Detroit Pistons. We’re talking, of course, about the January 29, 2018 trade that sent Blake Griffin (along with Brice Johnson and Willie Reed) to Detroit in exchange for Tobias Harris, Avery Bradley, Boban Marjanovic, and two draft picks.
The trade put the Clippers rebuild into high gear, moving on from the Lob City Days once and for all and paving the way to build the championship-contending roster they sport today. The move didn’t exactly pan out for Detroit, as they currently sit near the bottom of the Eastern Conference with a 20-46 record.
Griffin has suffered from injuries, playing in only 18 games this season, and the team has suffered without the play of their biggest star. Former league MVP Derrick Rose has played well in his first season with the team, scoring 18.1 points per night and adding 5.6 assists in 26 minutes played, and at times shows flashes of his former pre-injury self. Another bright spot for the team has been the emergence of Christian Wood, a six-foot-ten-inch, 24-year-old journeyman who has shown signs that he could be a potential star in the NBA. The team’s buyout of Reggie Jackson was the Clippers’ gain when Los Angeles signed the 30-year-old point guard just days after Detroit let him go.
The Pistons face some tough decisions in the near future, and a complete overhaul and rebuild of their roster may be needed sooner rather than later. We look to see where the Clippers could benefit from a team in a major need of changes.
Why we suggest this trade for the LA Clippers:
We would have loved to try to pull off a trade for Christian Wood, but his current salary of $1.6 million makes that almost impossible based on his skill level as well as the fact that he’ll become an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season. The Clippers already have one big man with an expiring contract who is going to need a big payday to worry about.
Bringing back Blake Griffin for the novelty of it would have been fun, but he doesn’t really help the team in his current state, and his price tag is much too high to try to match in a trade (even a hypothetical one.)
Replacing Patrick Beverley or Lou Williams with Derrick Rose didn’t seem to make much sense, John Henson didn’t excite us much at all, and we didn’t know where Thon Maker would fit in.
So we went with Luke Kennard.
Kennard is a six-foot-five inch sharpshooting guard who has been somewhat limited by injuries this season. When healthy, he’s scoring 15.8 points per game on almost 40 percent shooting from beyond the three-point arc.
Would the Pistons do it?
JaMychal Green can potentially opt out of his contract at the end of the season and provide the Pistons with some salary-cap relief. Mfiondu Kabengele provides them with another young, developing big man and protection in case Christian Wood leaves them at the end of the season. If their goal is to kickstart a rebuild, the Clippers could provide some future draft compensation to hammer home the deal to land themselves another sharpshooter and strengthen their bench even more.
Read the rest of our “One Trade with every Team” series here:
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