Tuesday 18th June 2024,
The Hoop Doctors

Should the Clippers Trade Griffin for Melo?

Should the Clippers trade Blake Griffin for Carmelo Anthony? Stephen A. Smith suggests the struggling Knicks should send future free agent forward Carmelo Anthony to the Los Angeles Clippers in return for Blake Griffin, but here are 3 really good reasons you don’t pull the trigger on that trade if you are the Los Angeles Clippers.

1. Money. Money. Money.

Winning and championships aside, which player is more valuable at this stage in their careers? Who will most improve the brand and value of the franchise?

Truth be told, Griffin and Anthony will effectively enhance brands and franchises for years to come, but let’s dig deeper. Griffin, the younger of the two by 5 years, is a greater commodity in that respect. Since Griffin came to L.A., the Clippers franchise has increased in value by $135 million dollars ($125 million dollars of which was earned since Chris Paul came). Although many other factors come into play, the Clippers are increasing in value an average of $45 million dollars a year, and Griffin is a huge reason why. Say Griffin (24) has 11 good seasons left. If other factors remain the same, Griffin could help the Clippers make about $495 million dollars if he were to remain a Clipper for life. That used to sound like a prison sentence. Not as much anymore. Likewise, the Clippers should hang onto Griffin for dear life. They have him under contract until 2018 (with a player option) and the Clippers are paying the 3-time All-Star Blake Griffin $72.8 million total during that time. Not enough in this writer’s opinion, considering his value to the franchise, but that’s still a lot of dough.

As for Carmelo Anthony, the Knicks have parlayed him (and highly increased ticket prices) into $514 million dollars in about the same amount of time (since 2010). According to Forbes, the Knicks, the most valuable franchise in the NBA, are currently valued at $1,100 million dollars (the Clippers at $430 million). And, the Knicks overall value is up 41% from last year. Although the Knicks don’t look like a playoff team, clearly Melo is a marketing machine.

Melo has a player option on next season with the Knicks. If he stays, Melo makes $44.99 million over these next 2 years. That’s 62% of Griffin’s salary for the next 5 years (including this one). For less than half as many years, too. Just saying. Looking forward, the Knicks are preparing to offer 6-time All-Star Carmelo Anthony the max contract of $129 million over the next 5 seasons. The collective bargaining agreement allow the Knicks to offer Melo an extra year and an extra $33 million as incentive to stay with his current team.

To answer the question, it’s complicated. Both are huge stars capable of generating millions for their respective franchises. Melo might make you more money, but Griffin might be less selfish when it comes to signing the contract.

2. Winning

Would acquiring Carmelo Anthony actually be good for the Clippers? Could he help them win? Could he push them over the top in the title pursuit? Simply no.

Would a guy with the #1 basketball usage % (that’s means the ball stays in his hands) be good for a team already run effectively by Chris Paul? No. I frankly wouldn’t even make any sense. Both Melo and Paul need the ball in their hands to “do their thing.” The only way it works is that Melo could finish plays; Paul could set him up. But, Melo has been playing this way in the NBA for 10 years now. Could he grow and change, or would he naturally slip back into his ball-dominant role? Could Melo help L.A. win? Sure. Would it be any better than it is right now? Maybe not. Could Melo lead the Clippers to the championship? It’s a bit of a stretch. Can a guy who’s never won it help a bunch of other guys who haven’t won it just cause they’re doctored up by a guy who has? Nothing’s impossible, but I probably wouldn’t bet on it.

3. The Future

Carmelo Anthony is 29 and Blake Griffin is 24. That 5-year difference means Anthony has about 6 good years left, while Griffin has about 11. It’s just simple math. The Clippers don’t want unselfish for selfish, big for small, and 24 for 29 all in one felt swoop. The championship window gets smaller, while the Clippers teamwork is replaced by a guy who likes to go one-on-one. I like Melo (a tremendous scorer) for the record, but this doesn’t seem like an equal swap at this stage in their careers.

According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst’s insight, the Knicks don’t wanna part with Anthony because they might not get enough in return, but Griffin would be enough. Besides, Melo already told the Knicks and the whole world in the preseason that he wants to become a free agent.

“Does that mean I’m not coming back to New York? Not at all. But it’s (free agency) something I’m definitely willing to explore.”—Carmelo Anthony, October 2013

So, the clock is ticking for the Knicks. Do they trade Anthony or risk losing him as a free agent? If you’re the Clippers, you have to ask yourself whether or not you think Anthony can help deliver a championship, because, otherwise, I don’t think you make that deal!

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