One of the main reasons Doc Rivers left Boston to coach the Clippers was he wanted more control over personnel decisions. He was given that control in L.A. when they named him Senior Vice President of Basketball Operations, as well as coach.
Most of the Clippers' offseason moves were pretty solid. They added Darren Collison, J.J. Redik, Jared Dudley and Byron Mullens to help All-Stars Chris Paul and Blake Griffin win a title.
But this latest report from ESPN's Chris Broussard raises some serious questions about Doc's ability to run a team.
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.
One source close to the situation said the Clippers' latest internal discussion ended in favor of keeping Griffin.
Well thank goodness for that.
An Anthony-for-Griffin swap would make zero sense for the Clippers. The trade wouldn't even move the needle for the Clippers' title hopes. Does adding Anthony, but subtracting Griffin, put the Clippers in any better position to beat Oklahoma City, Miami, Indiana, Portland, Houston, Golden State, or San Antonio now or in the future? It does not.
Anthony, 29, is an elite scorer, no doubt about it, but he has never even been considered an average defender, let alone a good one. In leading the Knicks to a 10-22 record so far this year, Anthony's also shown he's not the kind of guy to shoulder the load and take games over by himself. Anthony's age is a big issue because the team would be trying to win over the next three or four years before he starts to decline.
Speaking of age, the Clippers would be trading away a 24-year-old Griffin who is just about to hit his prime and is under contract until 2018. Griffin is one of four players averaging 20+ ppg and 10+ rpg this season. You don't trade that kind of production, potential and security for a 29-year-old Anthony who is in the last year of his deal and will command more per season next year than the $21 million Griffin makes in the last year of his contract. Griffin will only get better, Anthony will either stay the same or get worse.
Who would play power forward for the Clippers if Griffin is sent to New York? Antawn Jamison? Putting Anthony at the four spot may work in a pinch, but you don't want to put your title hopes on a team with the second best player playing out of position.
Doc is a players' coach. It's a great asset to have to attract players to the team and in motivating players to get the most out of them. But all that has to be put aside when running a basketball team. Whether or not Paul and Anthony desperately want to play together shouldn't matter to Doc, it's about what is best for the Clippers. If Paul does put up a big stink to get Anthony at the expense of Griffin, you have to question his basketball IQ as well. Will the Clippers win the title this year? Probably not, but their chances look much better going forward with a young Griffin than an almost-peaked Anthony.
Hopefully, Doc was just entertaining the idea to appease Paul and has no intentions of shipping Griffin for Anthony. If not, maybe it's not such a bad thing Doc isn't giving his two cents on personnel decisions in Boston anymore.
@ericblaisdell13 Eric Blaisdell 1/04/2014 06:54:00 PM Tweet Edit