The Los Angeles Lakers often see their name pop up in free agency rumors, but now it appears that they could manage to steal a star from their cross-town rivals this summer. While it doesn’t seem likely, Blake Griffin could switch locked rooms at the STAPLES Center and put on the purple and gold.
The rumor popped up in a piece by Kevin Ding of Bleacher Report who was writing about the lack of progress the Clippers have seen despite their star trio of Griffin, Chris Paul, and DeAndre Jordan. The thinking is that despite the relative success the Clippers have had recently, Griffin just may be ready to move on this summer, and both the Lakers and the Boston Celtics could be landing spots:
That Griffin would also stay and reap the biggest payday he can seems likely, too—in theory. But more and more people around the league believe he would be open to a fresh start—perhaps with the Lakers or the Boston Celtics, who have coveted Griffin for years and would offer a new chance to win. The most intriguing fit might be if he were to go home to Oklahoma to join Russell Westbrook and the Thunder, but his interests in the entertainment industry make staying in Los Angeles a priority.
Of course, if Griffin truly does leave the Clippers this summer, it would appear that the Celtics would be a likely landing spot since their roster is better prepared to win now and also has a ready-made role for him playing alongside Al Horford. However, Los Angeles still holds some appeal thanks to the marketing opportunities that it provides, although if that is a major factor for Griffin, he would likely simply stay with the Clippers.
One scenario that could appeal to Griffin with the Lakers is if they are able to keep their top-three protected draft pick and then swing a major trade around draft time to bring in win-now pieces. It’s debatable whether the Lakers would even pursue such a strategy, so for now, it’s probably wise to take the Griffin rumors with a grain of salt.