NBA rumors: Clips offered Griffin in trade for KAT

The Los Angeles Clippers proposed a blockbuster deal to the Minnesota Timberwolves involving forward Blake Griffin and center Karl-Anthony Towns, league sources told Basketball Insiders. The trade proposal didn’t advance past an exploratory call from the Clippers as Minnesota declined, league sources told Basketball Insiders.

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As a result, additional Timberwolves players needed to make the trade work financially were not discussed, league sources told Basketball Insiders. Griffin makes $29.5 million and Towns only makes $6.2 million this season, which makes a one-for-one swap impossible due to the $23.3 million salary gap. At least two additional Timberwolves players would need to be included in a trade involving Griffin and Towns to make it work financially. The Clippers would’ve also needed to create another roster spot for the hypothetical incoming third Timberwolves player.
Griffin can sign a five-year deal worth $175 million with L.A., or sign a four-year deal worth $130 million with another team. The Boston Celtics and Oklahoma City Thunder are two teams that will make a bid for Griffin, according to several executives.
Porzingis left for Latvia more than two weeks ago and has not spoken to Knicks brass, with sources saying he is dissatisfied with how the organization is run — with Jackson looking to ship Anthony. The Clippers’ scenario is intriguing because oft-injured Blake Griffin is a free agent, and there is a sentiment the Clippers could look into breaking up the team after two straight first-round KOs.
Like teammate Chris Paul, Griffin’s next deal is all but done. One executive who tried to engage with the Clippers on a Griffin package got absolutely nowhere, saying it was not a conversation the Clippers were willing to have.
The Celtics have talked intermittently with the Clippers about Blake Griffin, per several league sources, but a deal is extremely unlikely. Griffin will be a free agent this summer, and Boston would probably need official permission to talk to him about his future -- a concession Minnesota allowed Cleveland before the Kevin Love trade. The Clips would ask for a bounty, starting with Jae Crowder and one of the Avery Bradley/Marcus Smart duo, plus picks, per league sources.
A source confirmed the Knicks contacted the Clippers about an Anthony trade, but any deal would have great complexity because Blake Griffin can’t be on the Knicks roster at the same time as Derrick Rose because of an obscure rule in the collective bargaining agreement which holds that two players under a certain rookie contract extension can’t be paired on the same roster.
According to a person with knowledge of the situation, who spoke to USA TODAY Sports on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation, the Clippers have a strong interest in adding Anthony so long as they don’t have to give up one of their Big Three of Paul, Griffin or DeAndre Jordan. Considering they have made this clear to the Knicks, the illuminating part is that the conversation didn’t die right there.
Brad Turner: Knicks were team to reach out to Clippers, who listened, but not willing to move CP, BG or DJ in a deal
Boston also expressed interest in Blake Griffin this summer, so it’s conceivable they’d have interest when he hits free agency. To be clear, those conversations were merely exploratory since the Clippers had no interest in retooling, per a league source. Gordon Hayward received interest from Boston in 2014 when he was a restricted free agent; Hayward and Brad Stevens also have unfinished business after experiencing a heartbreaking national championship loss at Butler. Beyond that, there is no star, max-level, unrestricted free agent available in 2017 that is both reasonably acquirable and enticing to the Celtics.
So after three years of Ballmer's ownership, it might just be long enough to draw some conclusions. Most importantly, according to Clippers insiders, is his commitment to keeping both Griffin and Paul long term no matter what it costs.
Still, Rivers realizes those rumors could resurface in February if the Clippers aren’t faring well. No team wants to be put in Oklahoma City’s situation, in which it waits on a player to make a decision at the end of his contract only to be left with no compensation if he goes elsewhere. “Blake and CP are free agents and just like last year, Oklahoma had to deal with that — now it’s our turn,” Rivers said. “It’s been a sense of urgency since we’ve been there, in my opinion. And we haven’t followed through yet, and there’s another sense of urgency here. We’re not the only ones. Everyone has a sense of urgency.”
Scott Souza: Former #Celtics coach Doc Rivers denies there was ever anything to Blake Griffin-to-Boston rumors ... Joked Boston media made them up.
The Thunder won’t be alone if Griffin hits the open market. The Boston Celtics have long had eyes for Griffin, and there has been talk that the Orlando Magic and Chicago Bulls would also make a hard push at Griffin. Coincidentally, both teams have tradable assets now if the Clippers decide they want to consider a trade.
Head coach Doc Rivers hopes Blake Griffin spends his entire career with the Clippers. At this time of year, trade rumors tend to circulate. But when it comes to his star power forward, Rivers reiterated Thursday on Adrian Wojnarowski’s “The Vertical Podcast” none of the rumors are substantiated, and he plans on keeping Griffin. "It’s funny, you don’t want to go out and send a press release every time there’s a rumor about Blake,” Rivers said. “We are hoping that Blake ends his career playing for the Clippers, period. So, when teams call, we say we have no interest. First of all, no team’s calling right now, because teams know we don’t have any interest. It just tells you the different times. Things have changed. Everyone believes that they’re media now.”
During an appearance on The Vertical Podcast with Adrian Wojnarowski, Rivers stressed he intends to keep Griffin in Los Angeles and believes the Clippers could take another step forward with their current core. "Danny and I have talked twice this summer," said Rivers, who controls Los Angeles Clippers personnel decisions in addition to his duties as the team's head coach. "One (conversation) was about the British Open, and one was about another golf tournament. That's about it."
"I'm confident (Griffin and Paul want to stay)," Rivers added. "Probably the same way every team's confident that they're going to be able to keep their guys. I do think we have an attractive place. We have a new owner. It'd be interesting if Steve Ballmer wasn't the owner, I don't know how confident I'd be. But with Steve I'm extremely confident that we can keep both.
"You know, listen, winning is the key. The better we play on the floor, the better chance we have of not only keeping those guys but actually adding to our basketball team. And so that's always the key factor in this. Quality of life is important, being comfortable, getting along, players getting along with the staff and each other, all that goes into it. But I think we're in a good place there. I know both of them have said they want to play here, they want to play with us forever. But you've got to do your job. Like, your job never stops. You can never relax. You can never take a player for granted. If I have (not) learned that over the years, I have not learned anything. That's something you just have to keep coaching them, but you also have to keep bringing them in and keeping them in."
Brian Robb: Doc Rivers addressing the Blake Griffin to Celtics rumors specifically on @WojVerticalNBA podcast: "Danny and I have talked twice this summer. One was about the British Open and the other was about another golf tournament. That's about it."
According to those who know these things, the Clippers are focused on adding stars – that is the trend in the NBA, you know – not subtracting them. But, I will admit, we can’t be 100-percent certain about any of this stuff anymore, the only evidence needed being all those stories about how Durant was going to remain with the Thunder.
In terms of other players in which the Celts are rumored to have interest, there have still been no recent talks regarding Blake Griffin or Russell Westbrook.
That does not necessarily rule out a trade of Westbrook to Boston. But it makes it unlikely, at least until that contact is made, that the Celtics are now targeting him. The team has viewed this as a crucial summer, so their activity is expected. The Celtics are stocked with young players, have a raft of future picks available and have already signed big man Al Horford in free agency, as they hope to push closer to the Raptors and Cavaliers in the East. The likely target for the Celtics, according to front-office sources, is Clippers forward Blake Griffin. The Clippers have been weighing trading Griffin all season, and the possibility of a three-team package involving Sacramento sending Rudy Gay to the Clippers has emerged. The Celtics would give up some number of their upcoming draft picks, but opposing front-office members say they don't want to give up either Brooklyn pick Boston can own in the next two years.
There should be no question by now that the Celts still believe they need to make changes to their roster before the season begins, and it has been confirmed that they are trying to accomplish this on multiple avenues -- to no avail thus far. Sources indicate the Celtics are very much open to major moves, but, while situations certainly remain fluid and they have expressed interest in Blake Griffin and Russell Westbrook in the past, there have been no discussions regarding those players in quite some time.
While team sources could not immediately confirm that all three players would be able attend, inviting all three is an important affirmation of Rivers' previous statements about keeping the team's core together.
You've already said after losing to Portland you won't trade any of the three stars. Are you worried that boxes you into a corner a little bit? Is that really the case? Doc Rivers: I don't worry about the corner thing, ever. I'm always gonna do what's good for the team. You don't ever do anything but that. But I feel like the best thing for the team right now is to keep them together. Can that change? Of course it can change. But I don't think it will.
Doc Rivers said Monday that he would not break up the Los Angeles Clippers' big three of Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan during the offseason — regardless of any trade offers that may arise. "I like our core and I like our bench, which was really good this year," Rivers said three days after the Clippers were eliminated from the playoffs by the Portland Trail Blazers in six games.
That’s not to say there was no interest expressed in Griffin at this year’s trade deadline, especially with Griffin having taken a PR hit by hurting his hand during a fight at dinner with a team employee. There was hope that Griffin could be had on the cheap, but multiple sources said that, while the Clippers considered offers, they were certainly not going to be lowballed for Griffin.
There was, though, what one source termed as, “groundwork,” for potential Griffin deals that could be revisited in the coming weeks, either at the draft or in the wake of free agency. The Nuggets were among the teams connected with Griffin, but the Clippers’ asking price and the Denver ballpark offer were not even close. The Celtics and Bulls were among other teams that inquired about Griffin, but never got traction.
Q: Were there a lot of inquiries from NBA teams about Griffin before the recent trade deadline? Rivers: “There was some, but not a lot because we shot them down so quickly. Reading about some of these crazy rumors in the paper was comical to us. … “You can take the call, but you don’t have to listen. We like our team. We’re in the job of trying to make our team better, but we like our team.”
But the Griffin noise is real. He's no longer untouchable. The Clips are listening, even right now, and they've rarely listened before. If they get wind over the next four days that they're out of the Durant sweepstakes, they could accelerate the Griffin trade timetable. It'd take a monster offer to pry him away before the draft, but the ground is trembling (As I've written before, Rivers needs to think very hard about whether trading Griffin is a good idea).
A Western source confirmed the Celtics were one of a number of teams calling the Clippers to see if Blake Griffin is, indeed, on the menu. But the result of those inquiries has thus far been that, while the Clips are listening, they have no real intention of moving the star forward.
High-level members of the organization say they remain adamant about not dealing Griffin, the best young player the franchise has ever had, despite another round of rumors suggesting they called Denver about Kenneth Faried, Danillo Gallinari, Will Barton and Nikola Jokic. “One hundred percent not true,” according to one executive involved in any trade discussions. Clippers coach Doc Rivers has also been vocal, saying the team isn't trading Griffin.
Chris Broussard: "I've been told that the Clips actually called Denver and offered Blake Griffin and Lance Stephenson for Danilo Gallinari, Kenneth Faried, Will Barton and Nikola Jokic. And Denver turned it down because Blake will be a free agent after next season and they felt like he may leave, plus they like some of those young kids, they love Jokic."
The Clippers are making Blake Griffin available even though the injured forward is recovering from a second surgical procedure to his right (punching) hand and may not play again this season, especially if he's traded to a team out of the playoff race.
A source with knowledge of the situation said that “just about every team in the league” has contacted the Clippers about Griffin, who drew the ire of the team and the league when he was involved in a public altercation with the team’s equipment manager at a Toronto restaurant last month.
Yet despite the Clippers' steadfast support of Griffin in the aftermath of an embarrassing incident that could imperil their title chances, there's a growing feeling among rival executives that the team's posture could change dramatically if the Clippers endure another disappointing postseason outcome this spring. Since they paired Chris Paul with Griffin in 2011 and lured Doc Rivers from Boston in 2013, the Clippers have yet to advance past the second round of the playoffs. Owner Steve Ballmer has gone deep into the luxury tax again this season, and there's a belief among rival teams that falling short in the playoffs again could lead to a major roster shakeup this summer.
However, according to a person close to Griffin, there's no guarantee he'd embrace returning home to play. The possibility hasn't been discussed within Griffin's camp, but as one prominent player operative noted, “Some guys don't want to play at home. Too many distractions.”
The benefits of playing in a small market like Oklahoma City -- less glitz and glamour, fewer media responsibilities, an organization that has proved to be protective of its stars -- would be canceled out for Griffin. For him, Oklahoma City would be like New York on steroids. This factor must be considered, especially since Griffin has a player option for the 2017-18 season. “I've seen him there; it's like Michael Jackson walking around,” the person close to Griffin said.
Despite reports the Clippers are having trade discussions with Denver and Philadelphia about Blake Griffin, the Clippers power forward isn’t being shopped. Teams have inquired about Griffin’s availability, but the Clippers, who still believe they can win this season, aren’t interested in making a move.
But that probably won’t happen, especially with the Clippers still confident in their chances. The Clippers aren’t having serious discussions about trading Griffin, especially not with Denver or with Philadelphia.
There is a perception that Blake Griffin is available via trade, a perception, quite frankly, that’s incorrect. The Clippers don’t need to trade Griffin – even after he broke his hand punching assistant equipment manager Matias Testi. They don’t want to trade Griffin, at least not to the extent where they’re willing to take less than he’s worth. And in their minds, Griffin is worth a whole bunch. Despite what people outside the organization think, people on the inside believe that a healthy Clipper team can still contend for an NBA title this season.
Multiple teams have contacted the Clippers about acquiring Blake Griffin in the wake of his having punched a team assistant equipment manager, said a person close to the situation not authorized to discuss it publicly, but the team has no active interest in trading its five-time All-Star power forward. The Clippers have fielded calls involving various trade proposals but remain reluctant to part with a cornerstone of their franchise and a player who, at age 26, was having possibly his best season before he was sidelined by a quadriceps injury the day after Christmas and subsequently a broken hand sustained in a scuffle with assistant equipment manager Matias Testi.
Ben Bolch: Multiple teams have inquired with Clippers about Blake Griffin offering various packages but team has no active interest in deal, per source. Clippers remain reluctant to part with a cornerstone of franchise and a player who, at 26, was having possibly best season before injury.
Digital Poet: You think the Toronto Raptors could do a three way deal with Denver for Blake Griffin? Steve Kyler: Clippers not open to moving Griffin in an context at this point. Unless OKC parts with Durant, not gonna happen.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Even without Durant, this franchise will make hard decisions on his future if it doesn't make a deep playoff run this spring. League sources tell me that will start with looking hard on the market for deals involving Griffin.
Outside of those well-known suitors – Washington, Houston and Miami – there’s another California team determined to make a bid for Durant, league sources tell The Vertical: The Los Angeles Clippers. If the opportunity comes to move Blake Griffin and replace him with Durant, the Clippers won’t hesitate, sources said.
Of the Clippers' three foundational stars, Griffin would probably net the highest return in a trade. Several league sources insist that if Doc Rivers, the Clippers coach, general manager, head chef and lead custodian, were forced to pick one of the three to flip, it would likely be Griffin -- in part because he knows Griffin would bring back the most. (He'd prefer to flip none, obviously).
Maybe the Clips should think about shaking things up? Problem is, Doc Rivers came to Los Angeles precisely to avoid a rebuild, and all indications are, he still thinks these Clippers can win the title if healthy. He won't sign off on a deal that brings back a bunch of future first-round picks. He might be the only decision-maker in the league who cares less about future firsts than Pat Riley.
The Griffin fight saga has teams around the league imagining how they might construct their roster around Griffin, and they are coming away both confused and intrigued. He can clearly be the No. 1 option in a good NBA offense. He's a dunk machine if you clear the lane and unleash him in the pick-and-roll.
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September 22, 2021 | 11:35 am EDT Update

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Did you ever wonder what would’ve happened if you didn’t have that injury? Brandon Jennings: I would’ve been an All-Star for sure if I didn’t tear my Achilles, and I believe we would have made the playoffs that year in Detroit, and then I’d end up getting paid. That probably would’ve happened. Then again, who knows what happens after that? I feel like with the injury, that’s when the chaos started happening outside of my career. I felt like with the money, it would’ve probably been more chaos.
When you had that 55-point game, what stuck out to you about it? Was that your favorite NBA moment? Brandon Jennings: The 55-point game was still something I can’t explain. I just got hot, and the ball was just going in. I only scored 10 points in the first half, and I had a terrible first quarter. I just came out in the second half hot. I’m sure everybody is like, that should be your favorite game, but one of my favorite games ever was my first game in the NBA when I almost had a triple-double in Philly. I didn’t know if I was going to start. He told me I was going to start the day before.