Rumor: Clippers called Thunder about Blake Griffin-Paul George trade

Dan Feldman
NBC Sports

The Clippers reportedly offered Blake Griffin to the Timberwolves for Karl-Anthony Towns. That seemed like nothing more than a shot in the dark, but now that L.A. actually traded Griffin to the Pistons, it’s obvious the Clippers serious about exploring the market.

That apparently included asking the Thunder about swapping the Oklahoma native for Paul George.

Royce Young of ESPN:

They made calls to Oklahoma City for Paul George. I’m pretty sure that they made calls to Minnesota for players. So, they tried to get some bigger-name players. That just wasn’t happening.

This doesn’t mean the Clippers offered Griffin for George. In fact, that trade wouldn’t work straight up under salary-cap rules. The additional aspects could have swung a proposal – if discussions even got that far – in either’s teams favor.

Still, it’s interesting the Thunder didn’t trade for Griffin.

George is younger, and his 3-point shooting and defense make him an easy fit on any team, especially one with Russell Westbrook.

But George can become an unrestricted free agent next summer, and though it sounds increasingly likely he’ll stay, he could leave Oklahoma City empty-handed. Griffin is locked up for the next three years then has a player option he’ll probably exercise – because he’s so expensive, another complication.

If George re-signs, the Thunder likely come out ahead. If not, they might revisit this trade discussion with regret.

The Clippers had to settle for a more balanced package (Tobias Harris, Avery Bradley, Boban Marjanovic, a first-round pick and a second-round pick). None of those pieces have the singular ability of Paul, who’s from Southern California and might have been more likely to re-sign with the Clippers. Still, the Clippers found solid return for Griffin from Detroit.

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