Michael Scotto of Basketball Insiders tweeted on Friday night that the Los Angeles Clippers proposed a blockbuster deal to the Minnesota Timberwolves that involved involved Blake Griffin and Karl-Anthony Towns.
Sources: The Los Angeles Clippers proposed a blockbuster deal to the Minnesota Timberwolves involving forward Blake Griffin and center Karl-Anthony Towns. Full story coming on @BBallInsiders.
— Michael Scotto (@MikeAScotto) January 13, 2018
So, that’s a crazy trade proposal… and there’s probably zero chance of such a trade happening.
In Scotto’s article on the proposal, he said that the conversations between the Clippers and Timberwolves “didn’t advance past an exploratory call from the Clippers.”
The trade proposal didn’t advance past an exploratory call from the Clippers as Minnesota declined, league sources told Basketball Insiders.
And the call probably ended with the Timberwolves laughing, for several reasons, such as…
1. Karl-Anthony Towns just turned 22 in November, while Blake Griffin turns 29 in March.
2. Towns — still on his rookie contract — is making $6.2 million this season, and $7.8 million next season. Griffin currently makes $29.5 million and the salary increases each year through 2021-22 (a $39 million player option) after the five-year, $171 million deal he signed this summer. Towns will surely have a contract like this himself eventually, but he’s still on his rookie deal for two years, and fitting in Griffin’s contract now would be very complicated for Minnesota as Scotto explains:
As a result, additional Timberwolves players needed to make the trade work financially were not discussed, league sources told Basketball Insiders.
Griffin makes $29.5 million and Towns only makes $6.2 million this season, which makes a one-for-one swap impossible due to the $23.3 million salary gap. At least two additional Timberwolves players would need to be included in a trade involving Griffin and Towns to make it work financially. The Clippers would’ve also needed to create another roster spot for the hypothetical incoming third Timberwolves player.
3. Towns may already be better than Griffin anyway!
A look at what the metrics say about the players in 2016-17:
And Towns will likely get even better, while Griffin’s game will likely decline over the next few years (especially with his game so much about athleticism).
You could go on and on with reasons why the Timberwolves wouldn’t do this, and it’s hard to imagine a scenario where they’d trade KAT for anyone (maybe Giannis, but the Bucks wouldn’t do that). The one interesting takeaway from this is that the Clippers may be looking to move on from Griffin, but his contract, to go with the Clippers clearly wanting a crazy return, probably makes a trade unrealistic anytime soon.