On Monday night, the Clippers dropped a bombshell on the NBA by trading away their franchise star Blake Griffin. Contrary to popular belief, the Clippers aren't interesting in tanking just yet. They actually want to rebuild quickly and look for cheap contract extensions to compete in the Western Conference in the coming years, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.
For Clippers, three objectives with the trade were these: Stay competitive on the floor (two starters, Harris and Bradley). Get young players/draft picks and create some payroll flexibility. Organization isn't interested in bottoming out and tanking. Clippers will continue to discuss contracts extensions at the right price, while engaging teams in trade talks on DeAndre Jordan and Lou Williams. They'll try to do a hard thing in the NBA: Rebuild on the fly with younger players/picks, without gutting roster.
This is an interesting report. The Clippers are currently ranked ninth in the Western Conference. With a strong push, the Clippers can make the postseason, so it's interesting to see the Clippers trying to start an experiment mid-season. In any case, the Clippers signed Griffin to a five-year, $176 million deal in the off-season. Creating roster flexibility seems to be the plan for the upcoming franchise. Though, if that is the case, the Clippers aren't done making trades yet.
Rebuilding on the fly is a tough process for any NBA team. In recent memory, the Boston Celtics completed their quick rebuild by accumulating draft picks and young players. Hopefully, the Clippers can do the same and get back to their previous winning ways.