NBA Trade Rumors: Pistons looking to unload Blake Griffin
February is in full swing, which means it's peak NBA trade rumor season.
Let’s look into some of the biggest rumors swirling around the league this week.
Pistons might not be done dealing
The Detroit Pistons shipped former MVP Derrick Rose to the New York Knicks for Dennis Smith Jr. and draft compensation on Sunday. However, there's still another former All-Star on the Pistons' roster that could be moved before the trade deadline: Blake Griffin.
The problem is the Pistons have to find a suitor for Griffin first. The former Rookie of the Year is only averaging 12.4 points per game and shooting a career worst 42.1% from the field and 33.3% from three-point range. Those numbers make it seem like Griffin is well beyond his prime, and not someone a team is willing to give up draft capital for.
NBA analyst Brett Siegel has suggested the Pistons could trade Griffin to the Toronto Raptors for Kyle Lowry. Lowry has been circling the trade rumors recently and the Pistons could use another veteran ballhandler after losing Rose.
Where will Blake Griffin end up next?
The Los Angeles Lakers are another team to consider in the Griffin sweepstakes, particularly if the Pistons buy out his contract. He still has value coming off the bench and has deep connections to L.A. after playing with the Clippers for the first eight years of his career.
Celtics need wings and big men
The Boston Celtics have a strong nucleus of talent with Kemba Walker, Jayson Tatum, and Jaylen Brown. However, they also have a void at the wing and big man positions following the departures of Gordon Hayward and Al Horford.
According to The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor, Celtics GM Danny Ainge is working hard behind the scenes to shore up his roster.
"Late Saturday evening, I received a flurry of texts from multiple executives around the league who said the Celtics were up to something," O'Connor reported. "What they’re up to is unclear, but league sources have long said Boston is searching for upgrades to bolster its wing and big man position."
The Celtics can use their draft capital to acquire a key role player on the trade market. Dallas Mavericks guard Tim Hardaway Jr. and Houston Rockets forward P.J. Tucker are two names to keep an eye on. Speaking of Tucker...
P.J. Tucker wants to go to a contender
Tucker recently told Complex reporter Mike DeStefano that he wants to go to a contender.
"It’s just one of those things. It’s a business, man, it’s a business," he said. "Our team [the Houston Rockets] has made a lot of changes and [Harden] felt like in his prime that he wanted a chance to win it, which we all do. I want the same thing."
We already discussed the value he would bring to the Celtics, but there are several other teams that make sense. The list includes the Miami Heat, Philadelphia 76ers, and Denver Nuggets.
Multiple executives believe the Rockets will eventually trade PJ Tucker by the trade deadline, per @MikeAScotto— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) January 14, 2021
"He will have value in the East, especially to combat Giannis and Durant. I can see Miami going after PJ and maybe even Boston." pic.twitter.com/sokheYljQp
However, it's worth noting that ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reported that the asking price for Tucker may be more than what most contenders can afford.
"The word on the street that I heard that has been floated [for his value]: they either want a first-round pick or three seconds, which I’ve never heard that arithmetic done," Windhorst reported. "Three seconds … There are fifteen teams that are somewhat impacted from trading firsts and eight who can’t really trade any, sort of narrows the market. Most of the competitors, most of the teams who are playoff teams this year, are encumbered from trading their pick."
Get used to hearing Tucker's name as the gritty 10-year pro is exactly the kind of player who can turn a playoff team into a championship contender.