Should the Clippers trade Griffin for Howard?

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Over the past week, Dwight Howard has added the Los Angeles Clippers to the list of teams he would like to be traded to. There’s not a scarier thought for teams around the league than the idea of Howard joining Chris Paul in Lob City but should the Clippers trade Blake Griffin to get him?

Both Griffin and Howard are freaks of nature. Both are long, athletic big men who can jump out of the gym. They are usually good for about 20 points-per-game and at least ten rebounds although both are horrible free-throw shooters.

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Despite their similarities though, I don’t think that anyone will argue that Howard is the much better player right now. While both still have a lot of upside to their games, Howard has more experience on the big stage having been to the NBA Finals and he is miles ahead of Griffin on the defensive side of the ball.

Howard is probably one of the best shot blockers in the league and is averaging over two blocks-per-game. Griffin on the other hand hasn’t shown as much interest in that part of the game averaging .6 blocks-per-game. Now many people will say that Griffin doesn’t have to be a shot-blocker with DeAndre Jordan in the lineup but he should be able to average at least one block-per-game with hardly any effort considering all the athleticism he possesses.

Their shot-blocking numbers are just one of the statistics that prove the fundamental difference between these two great young players: Howard is a defensive-minded player who can score while Griffin concentrates on offense first.

Case in point, Howard didn’t average 20 points-per-game until his fourth season in the league. Griffin averaged 22.5 points as a rookie and is currently scoring 21 points-per-game this season. Griffin also has a career average of 3.7 assists-per-game. Howard is averaging 2.3 assists-per-game so far this season but has never cracked two assists-per-game in the six previous years he has been in the league.

Howard is four years older than Griffin which would play a factor in the Clippers’ decision to trade him. The other thing that will hinder this trade is the fact that the two players’ salaries won’t allow for a one-on-one swap.

Howard makes over $17 million this year while Griffin comes in at about $5.7 million. The Clippers would have to either give up another player or two, or involve a third team in the trade to make it happen. Plus, the Orlando Magic also seek to get rid of Hedo Turkoglu’s contract which is another thing that could impact a potential trade.

And considering what the Clippers had to give up in order to get Paul they may not be able to muster enough assets to bring in Howard without hurting themselves at some other position. They are thin enough as it is without losing more depth and possibly another starter.

If it were possible to do a straight-up trade for both players though, I would be hard pressed to say that it would be a bad trade. The Magic would get another player to build with who they would like much better than Andrew Bynum and his injury-filled history while the Clippers would get a player who is ready to help them win right now. Sadly, the other factors make this too costly of a trade for the Clippers to make at this point. Sorry Clippers fans, maybe you can still get “Superman” as a free agent after the season unless the Dallas Mavericks beat you to him first.

Roosevelt Hall is an NBA Featured Journalist for The Sports Blitz

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3 Responses to Should the Clippers trade Griffin for Howard?

  1. 213oldskool says:

    “So sorry Clipper fans”….You’re making the assumption we want Howard. We don’t

  2. Bball genius says:

    This would be a horrible trade for the clips and probably the worst trade in NBA history!!! To even mention it, is dumb. Howard right now is way better player overall, but not only does Griffin have a bigger upside, a trade would destroy that chemistry which has to be the best team chemistry in the league behind OKC, they already have Jordan who is a poor man’s Howard but still very very effective a trade would mean they would have 2 of the same type of player. In terms of entertainment, as big as Howard’s name is, Griffin is the most exciting player in the league, a sure fire ticket seller. A better trade would be> Deandre Jordan, Mo williams, bledsoe/or billups and picks for howard. Now that is a game changer!

  3. Dennis Grundy says:

    Blake is a power forward; Dwight is a center (as Ball Genius explained). Obtain another center and lose your power forward? Is Howard actually only 26? Blake comes to play every night. I don’t see the Magic play very often, so I have to wonder about Dwight’s competitive fire. Would the T-Wolves trade Love for Howard? Dunno. But that hypothetical deal isn’t even a possibility, of course. Kinda doubt that D.H. would want to be exiled to Minnesota. Just give Griffin a couple of more seasons to grow. And LA needs to bring in a big-time small forward pretty soon, in my opinion.

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