Tuck: Clippers Must Trade Blake Griffin To Get Howard
Technically, the title is misleading. They don't have to do anything. But if they want Dwight Howard, no way they get him without giving up the Poster Child.
The LA Clippers struck a big and bold move already this season by trading for Chris Paul. They compiled some assets and made their move. They also fell fortunate that the Knicks waived Chauncey Billups, and then being under the cap, they outbid others for his services. They also signed free agent SF Caron Butler to a deal and resigned restricted free agent DeAndre Jordan.
Currently their lineup is:
PG Chris Paul, SG Chauncey Billups, SF Caron Butler, PF Blake Griffin, C DeAndre Jordan
Off the bench they bring:
G Randy Foye, PG Mo Williams, F/C Reggie Evans, F Brian Cook, F Ryan Gomes
They also have 2nd year PG Eric Bledsoe who is currently hurt.
The problem for the Clippers is that they moved their valuable picks and G Eric Gordon, as well as the expiring deal of C Chris Kaman, and young SF Al-Faruq Aminu to get CP3.
They don't have much left to dangle for Dwight Howard...UNLESS they trade one of the young budding superstars of the NBA in Blake Griffin.
Technically they could offer DeAndre Jordan, Mo Williams, Eric Bledsoe and/or Randy Foye for Dwight Howard and Hedo Turkoglu.
It works mathematically.
It works for the Clippers who keep their two superstars and add a third.
It, however, does NOT work for the Magic. Why would they do such a deal?
If I was the Magic, the deal would have to be Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan, Randy Foye, and Eric Bledsoe for Dwight Howard and Chris Duhon.
The Magic get a young, exciting superstar to build their team around in Griffin. They get an athletically freaky center, albeit underperforming too often. They get Foye's expiring deal and a young PG in Bledsoe to develop behind Jameer Nelson.
The Magic would be competitive and could hope the current dunk champion could draw more talent around him to the city beautiful. GM Otis Smith could look at doing other things with the deal, including Hedo or Big Baby possibly. I think if Orlando was committed to winning still, that keeping Turkoglu would be more productive. Dealing Glen Davis might be wise though, because with Blake Griffin in town, and Ryan Anderson backing him up, Baby might not find any minutes. Perhaps another deal could be in the works.
The Clippers get to pair Dwight and CP3, but having a gaping whole the front court next to Dwight Howard. I still like the deal for the Clippers a little more because Dwight > Blake, but they'd have to do some offseason shopping to find a couple more pieces to make the ClipShow a title team. But they aren't a title team now, so I'd do it if I was them.
Again, from Orlando's perspective, I don't think you are going to get a deal any better than this. Perhaps a Lakers deal for bothAndrew Bynum and Pau Gasol, but I think that deal brings less interest and excitement. And Griffin is already better, and a more stable building block for the future than either Lakers star.