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NBA Trade Rumors: Is Blake Griffin headed back to L.A.?

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Dan Halverson

February 16th, 2021

We've reached the point in the NBA season where cellar-dwelling teams are beginning to aggressively dangle high-priced, veteran players. While it’s difficult to part with a star player at the onset of a season and forfeit your perceived attempts at competitiveness, selling a trade to the fans once the losses start to pile up is far easier.

Let’s take a look at some of the trades that might be happening across the league for players on struggling rosters.

Blake Griffin's days in Detroit are done

We aren’t in Lob City anymore. Six-time NBA All-Star Blake Griffin appears on the outs in Detroit. The big man has seen a decline in performance over the last several years, but is still being paid like the player he was back with the Los Angeles Clippers. Griffin is owed $36.6 million yet this year and $39 million next year.

With the Detroit Pistons in last place at 8-19 and fully committed to a youth movement rebuild, Griffin no longer makes sense on this roster, prompting the franchise to sit him until a trade emerges.

"I am grateful to the Pistons for understanding what I want to accomplish in my career and for working together on the best path forward," Griffin said in a statement to ESPN.

While he will be a difficult trade piece with such a high salary, teams like the Portland Trail Blazers, Los Angeles Lakers, or Dallas Mavericks may engage the Pistons in the very near future.

Cavs bench Andre Drummond ahead of possible trade

The Cleveland Cavaliers are not far above last place in the Eastern Conference at 10-18 overall, and are actively looking to trade star big man Andre Drummond. As a result, Drummond has been placed on the bench as the Cavs look for active trade suitors.

The Cavs have made the decision to focus on Jarrett Allen as their future big man, making Drummond a redundant presence on the roster. At 27 years old, Drummond should appeal to several teams in the league that need size and a veteran rebounder that can also defend the paint. The Boston Celtics and Toronto Raptors make the most sense, while the Dallas Mavericks may also be interested in his services.

Sixers looking for depth

While the Pistons’ shopping of Blake Griffin has received the most attention and comes on the heels of the team's separation with Derrick Rose, they also have point guard Delon Wright available on the trading block and a team like the Philadelphia 76ers might be in the mood to do a little shopping.

Wright came to Detroit in the offseason from Dallas, and has played well in multiple roles with the team. While the 76ers are leading the East, they could use depth at the guard position to support their stars, Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid. Wright is an unconventional point guard, but can score and defend and might be a perfect fit for Philly.

Are the Knicks Buyers or Sellers?

The New York Knicks are always a fascinating team to follow as they leave many outsiders wondering what kind of plan they have in mind. This year’s version is no different as they sit at 14-15 overall and are sixth in the Eastern Conference. The question is whether they will be buyers or sellers at the trade deadline.

The latest story is that the Knicks are absolutely willing to sign a star and continue their pursuit of postseason glory. Zach LaVine has been rumored frequently for teams looking to improve, but the Bulls may not be willing to part with their one bona fide star. Regardless of what happens, the Knicks seem destined to make a move of some sort soon.