NBA rumors can get pretty wild and this one is a whopper. Could the Clippers really be thinking about dealing Blake Griffin for Carmelo Anthony? It would be one of the biggest trades in recent NBA history if it were pulled off. What would this mean for the Nuggets?
With the looming possibility of Carmelo Anthony departing New York as a free agent this summer, New York Knicks officials have discussed proposing a trade to the Los Angeles Clippers for Blake Griffin, according to league sources.
Sources say Clippers management also has had internal discussions about such a deal but that the clubs have not yet spoken to one another about a potential trade.
As of now, neither team is certain it would make an Anthony-for-Griffin trade, the sources said.
The Clippers appear to be the more apprehensive of the two teams because Griffin is having a terrific season, especially of late. The 24-year-old power forward has averaged 26 points and nearly 11 rebounds in his past 10 games.
One source close to the situation said the Clippers' latest internal discussion ended in favor of keeping Griffin.
New York's top priority, meanwhile, appears to be re-signing Anthony to a long-term deal this offseason.
Would Blake be a good fit with the Knicks? Good enough to ruin Denver's chances of a New York lottery pick in the upcoming draft? Still sounds more like speculation than a real trade. You have to wonder if this story has been floated to gauge reaction to this type of deal.
Back on Dec. 21st I asked Clippers Steve about such a trade and here is what he had to say at the time:
1) Melo for Blake Griffin, do you make that deal? A crazy rumor I recently discussed with my colleague Jeff Morton. That leads to ... What's up with the Clippers chemistry? Is the team close? Overblown media stuff?
Steve Perrin: I'm really glad you asked me about the Griffin-Melo rumors -- which aren't rumors so much as idle speculation from the likes of Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless, guys that like to hear themselves talk. I've made a couple of comments along the way, but never felt compelled to do a full blown post on it, so you've given me that opportunity.
The Clippers would never consider trading Blake Griffin for Carmelo Anthony, nor should they. Carmelo does exactly one thing better than Griffin -- score. And even there, you sort of have to define your terms, since Griffin is a more efficient scorer than Anthony (Anthony's TSP of .560 last season was very near his career high, but it was still less than Griffin's .572). So actually the one thing Carmelo does better is shoot free throws. Griffin's a better rebounder, passer and defender, plus he's younger, still improving, less expensive, signed for longer, more likeable, better looking, a better actor, and nicer to animals (I'm just assuming on the animals part, but it stands to reason). Griffin is wildly popular among Clipper fans and the front office would think twice about trading him for a player who is actually better than he is (say Kevin Love) for fear of alienating the fan base. They would scoff at the idea of doing it for Anthony. Why would they? For Carmelo's star power? As if the Clippers and Griffin are lacking in that department.
The funny thing is, I actually think Carmelo might respond really well to playing alongside Chris Paul. Melo has always been "the man" in Denver and New York, but I've never been more impressed with him than I was when he was a designated scorer on Team USA. Without the responsibility of being the team's "best player", Melo was free to do what he does best, score unapologetically. But the Clippers wouldn't touch Melo for Griffin with a ten foot pole.
Based on your question, I can only assume that you've read something recently that implies that Paul and Griffin somehow don't get along -- no doubt also coming from guys like Stephen A and Skip, offered up to support their trade idea. If so, I've successfully tuned it out. I saw some of those issues reported last season -- but never bought the stories. I've never seen any indication of issues between the two, and I've yet to see any such tension reported by a source I trusted. The chemistry on the team is terrific as far as I can tell, but as with every team, it's better when they're winning, worse when they're losing.
I can't figure out if I like the trade idea or not. As we've seen here in Denver, Melo needs to be surrounded with really good talent ... especially on the defensive end. If I were in the Clips front office, I'd lean towards keeping Blake too.
But which scenario is best for the Nuggets?