Report: Clippers offered Blake Griffin to Nuggets, who rejected trade

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The Clippers and Nuggets reportedly discussed a Blake Griffin trade.

The Clippers’ spin: Denver called, and the Clippers quickly said no.

Spin from the other side?

Chris Broussard of ESPN on SportsCenter:

I was told that the Clippers actually called Denver and offered Blake Griffin and Lance Stephenson for Danilo Gallinari, Kenneth Faried, Nikola Jokic and Will Barton. And Denver turned it down.

Doc Rivers, I talked to him about that very deal. He said not true. There’s no way Blake’s getting traded.

It would have made sense for the Clippers to make that offer.

Gallinari is a versatile and underrated forward who’d provide the spacing the Clippers get with Griffin sidelined while significantly boosting their talent. Faried would provide a reasonable, though lesser, alternative to Griffin’s lob-finishing when the Clippers want a player of that style. Jokic is in the running for most impressive rookie, non-Karl-Anthony Towns, non-Kristaps Porzingis division. Barton is a high-flying wing who could win Most Improved Player and plays a position where the Clippers need more talent.

This is the type of monster haul that would justify trading a star like Griffin.

For similar reasons, it’s too much for the Nuggets to give up. Plus, they have the added problem of trying to re-sign Griffin in 2017. Keeping him in medium-market Denver would be challenging as is. Doing so after stripping the roster to acquire him would be far too daunting.

So, did this trade offer really happen?

Maybe.

I believe Griffin won’t be traded, because Rivers said Griffin wouldn’t be traded. It’s not that I believe Rivers is above misleading the public. But going back on his word would make Rivers look bad. I don’t think he would have said Griffin would remain a Clipper unless he were certain that’d be the case.

However, it’s quite conceivable Rivers made that declaration only after seeking massive return for Griffin and finding no takers.

It’s also possible the Nuggets, upset that the Clippers so quickly shot down the first Griffin report, leaked misinformation in retaliation.

The Clippers, maybe concurrently with other scenarios, could just be gauging Griffin’s value for a potential offseason trade. In the meantime, they certainly don’t want him feeling too uneasy about his future in Los Angeles.

There’s a lot to read between the lines, but at the simplest level, this trade would be good for the Clippers and bad for the Nuggets