Matt Barnes rips Doc Rivers after Clippers trade Blake Griffin

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AP

Matt Barnes rips Doc Rivers after Clippers trade Blake Griffin

The Clippers stunned the basketball world on Monday by reportedly trading five-time All-Star and face of the franchise Blake Griffin to Detroit.

Considering they just signed him to a five-year, $173 million contract last summer, the deal caught everyone by surprise.

Matt Barnes, who played with Griffin from 2012 to 2015, weighed in on the trade and wasn't thrilled about the optics of the Clippers trading Griffin right after giving him such a big contract.

"So you trade this guy after paying him this much money..? When everyone in the organization & everyone who’s played there knows DOC IS THE PROBLEM!!! Smfh cold game! Make sure you pack a jacket BG!!! Love Bro," Barnes wrote on Instagram.

Barnes played from Rivers his final two seasons in Los Angeles.

Rivers came to the Clippers in 2013 as part of a trade with the Boston Celtics. He took over as head coach and senior vice president of basketball operations. A year later, he became the president of basketball operations, but this past August, he gave up the basketball operations duties to focus on coaching. In five seasons under Rivers, the Clippers are 242-135, but haven't made it past the Western Conference Semifinals.

Griffin joins Chris Paul as All-Star players to be traded by the Clippers in the last year.

By trading Griffin, Clippers just made their pre-emptive play for LeBron

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USATSI

By trading Griffin, Clippers just made their pre-emptive play for LeBron

The Los Angeles Clippers have made their pre-emptive play for LeBron James, and his name is Blake Griffin.

Griffin is now a Detroit Piston as part of a hand grenade deal (just this short of a blockbuster) that sends Avery Bradley, who had just been a Boston Celtic, Tobias Harris, Boban Marjanovic and two draft choices to Los Angeles. The deal radically changes the fortunes and futures of the NBA’s two ninth-place teams, with one radical difference.

The Pistons aren’t run by Jerry West, and the Pistons aren’t going to attract James.

There’s no guarantee, of course, that this will get James to The Other Los Angeles, or that the Clippers with him will be any more capable of beating the Warriors at present with him than the Cleveland Cavaliers.

But West has throw-weight in this league even now, and Los Angeles without the Ball Family Singer is at least slightly more pleasant than Los Angeles with him. There is no greater vacancy the Clippers can create to make their play for James than Griffin, and because both the Clips and Pistons were hard-capped and up against the tax line, the Pistons had to send more pieces to make the deal work.

This matters to the Warriors in some ancillary way in that the Clippers with James become part of the silver medal argument for the Western Conference with Houston, San Antonio and Oklahoma City. Without him, the Clippers just made a big deal without advancing their fortunes in any significant way.

But leave it to West to get the first itchy trigger finger in the James sweepstakes. Staples Center is no longer full for Clippers games, and losing Chris Paul punched a hole in their long-term hopes that cannot legitimately be filled. The Pistons needed to shake up their roster to keep from losing more ground to the Milwaukees, Philadelphii and Indianii in the second third of the East, plus a freefall in January (they are 2-11 this month), and if Griffin can’t do it, then it can’t be done this year.

But like we said, nobody’s watching the Pistons. Everyone is watching the Clippers – maybe even the lonely soul in Ohio who can change the pecking order in the NBA with one signature. Just like Jerry West wanted.

Clippers trade Blake Griffin to Pistons for three players, two picks

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USATSI

Clippers trade Blake Griffin to Pistons for three players, two picks

UPDATE (10:56pm PT on Monday): The Clippers and Pistons officially announced the deal that sends Blake Griffin, Willie Reed and Brice Johnson to Detroit for Avery Bradley, Tobias Harris, Boban Marjanovic, a 2018 protected first-round pick and a 2019 second-round pick.

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UPDATE (3:33pm PT on Monday): The deal to send Blake Griffin to the Pistons is complete, according to multiple national reports.

The Clippers will receive a haul in return. Avery Bradley, Tobias Harris, Boban Marjanovic, a first-round pick and a second-round pick will go to Los Angeles, according to ESPN.

Center Willie Reed and forward Brice Johnson are going with Griffin to Detroit, according to ESPN.

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The Clippers might finally be blowing up the roster and the first domino to fall could be Blake Griffin.

According to ESPN, the Clippers and Detroit Pistons are "in serious talks" regarding a deal for Blake Griffin.

Pistons guard Avery Bradley and forward Tobias Harris would likely be part of the package going back to the Clippers, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The Clippers are 25-24 and are currently in ninth place in the Western Confernece, one game behind the Nuggets.

Griffin is a five-time All-Star but hasn't been selected to the All-Star team in any of the last three seasons. Injuries have cost him significant portions of the past three years and he missed 14 games earlier this season with a spained left MCL.

In 35 games this season, Griffin is averaging 22.6 points, 7.9 rebounds and 5.4 assists.

The 28-year-old Griffin is in the first year of a five-year, $173 million contract he signed last summer.