There has been a lot of rumors and talk around the league surrounding where high profile stars will end up before the trade deadline. Paul George, Kevin Love, Kemba Walker, and DeAndre Jordan are the few names that have been discussed. The inevitable trades started off with a bang with the Los Angeles Clippers sending Blake Griffin to the Detriot Pistons for Avery Bradley, Tobias Harris, Boban Marjanovic and 2 draft picks. At first glance, the Pistons should be jumping for joy bringing in a player that averages around 21 points and 9 rebounds per game. But is Griffin worth all that they had to give up? The statistics say, no.
Criticizing the Detroit Pistons Trade
Griffin is one of the premier NBA players in the league. And with the way the league is going, it makes sense that he would be targeted, if available. In order to be successful in this league, teams must have 2-3 all-star caliber players on their roster. The Pistons have Andre Drummond. In order for the Pistons to make that next step, they needed to make a move. But if we have learned one thing, it is that not every all-star can fit together (i.e. 2012-2013 Lakers).
Drummond and Griffin are both great individual players, but their styles of play do not match up. Both players play primarily down in the paint and thrive off of pick and roll offense. With the addition of Griffin, the Pistons will not have as much spacing on offense. In a three-point shooting league, that is the opposite direction of where they want to go. And that is not taking into account what the Pistons gave up.
Harris and Bradley
The Pistons gave up their two highest scoring options in Harris and Bradley. On top of that, Harris and Bradley were also the team’s main threats beyond the three-point line. The Pistons currently rank 13th in the league in three-pointers made per game. This statistic is bound to go down, which is not a good thing. Harris is having his best season to date and is shooting the ball from three better than ever. Giving away one of better wing defenders in Bradley and a player that is averaging around 18 points per game in Harris will not be worth Griffin, especially if he is spending a lot of time on the bench.
Griffin has not played more than 67 games since the 2014-2015 season. He also sat out his entire first year due to injury. The Pistons are putting a lot of faith in the idea that Griffin can break old trends and stay healthy to make this deal worth it. It sounds a lot like a losing gamble.
There are still many trades yet to be made. Will the teams around the league learn from the mistake of the Pistons and realize that not every star is worth multiple players and draft picks? Teams need to have chemistry to be successful. Teams cannot be one dimensional if they want to compete with the best.