The Los Angeles Clippers will look hard at the trade market for deals involving Blake Griffin should the team come up short again in this spring's NBA Playoffs, according to sources of Yahoo Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski.
The Clippers could well be reaching a turning point with their present core, with the franchise never having been past the second round of the playoffs. There has been a feeling that this is a make-or-break season for the team, and despite a 32-17 record (including 15-4 without Griffin) going into Friday, the Clippers are off the radar behind Western Conference alpha dogs in Golden State, San Antonio, and Oklahoma City.
Even with that tough competition, anything outside of a Finals appearance could be considered a failure for a loaded team currently in luxury tax territory. Unfortunately for the Clippers, the last few seasons haven't ended close to the Finals:
|2014-2015||56-26||Lost 2nd round to Rockets|
|2013-2014||57-25||Lost 2nd round to Thunder|
|2012-2013||56-26||Lost in 1st round to Grizzlies|
|2011-2012||40-26*||Lost in 2nd round to Spurs|
Griffin's judgement is also under the microscope after he broke his shooting hand punching his close friend and team equipment manager Matias Testi in Toronto recently. He's not expected to be able to play again until March, while the league continues to investigate the incident.
Griffin, the first pick overall in the 2009 draft, is an undeniable top-10 player with career averages of 21.6 points, 9.6 rebounds, four assists, and a 52.2 field-goal percentage. A trade would have a significant impact on the teams and divisions involved.
After this season, the 2011 Slam Dunk champion has two years and about $42 million left on his contract, which includes a player option for 2017-18.