The NBA’s next blockbuster trade may involve the league’s two Los Angeles franchises. A new report suggests that the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers may be interested in swapping their superstars.
Sources told ESPN that the Clippers are considering the possibility of offering All-Star forward Blake Griffin, along with highly-touted guard Eric Bledsoe, in a sign-and-trade deal for Lakers star Dwight Howard. The potential trade would take place after July 1, when Howard officially becomes a free agent.
Rumors of a Griffin-for-Howard swap surfaced amid the Clippers’ trade talks with the Boston Celtics. The Clippers are reportedly interested in acquiring the rights to coveted Celtics coach Doc Rivers and are willing to meet Boston’s compensation demands to do it.
The Clippers are said to be willing to offer cash, multiple draft picks, and the rights to youthful center DeAndre Jordan, as long as Boston releases Rivers from his current contract, ESPN reports. Under the proposed deal, Los Angeles would also acquire the services of aging Celtics forward Kevin Garnett.
Talks between the two franchises though purportedly soured on Saturday when the Clippers balked at the notion of including Bledsoe in the same trade, ESPN reports. The franchise reportedly wants to reserve Bledsoe for a separate transaction—which could potentially involve a trade with the Lakers to acquire Howard.
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The Clippers would package Bledsoe and Griffin in a sign-and-trade deal for Howard, sources told ESPN. Howard and Clippers point guard Chris Paul have been in constant communication in recent weeks in an attempt to end up on the same team through free agency, ESPN's Chris Broussard reports.
Despite the Griffin-for-Howard trade rumors, it seems unlikely that the Clippers and Lakers, who are heated rivals, would engage in a trade that would have such tremendous and potentially controversial implications on both teams’ futures. Indeed, Yahoo NBA analyst Adrian Wojnarowski claims that the “Lakers have fully resisted Clippers overtures on a sign-and-trade for Dwight Howard.” And a source with knowledge of the situation told Wojnarowski that the Lakers “will never do it.”