Sportress of Blogitude

Report: Thunder intend to make a run at Blake Griffin

With Lob City in its death throes after the Los Angeles Clippers traded Chris Paul to the Houston Rockets, the Oklahoma City Thunder appear set on picking at the carcass by making a move on Blake Griffin, according to ESPN’s Royce Young.

While an intriguing development on several levels, Young goes on to note one significant roadblock.

Given that scenario as a potential workaround, it would appear that a possible pairing of Griffin and reigning MVP Russell Westbrook is at least theoretically possible, so long as the Clippers would consider wheeling and dealing with a fellow Western Conference team as they did when sending CP3 to Houston.

The Thunder have approximately $111 million in guaranteed salaries this upcoming season with a salary cap of $99 million.

Considering a sign-and-trade may be the most viable option, here’s how such a potential scenario could play out, as laid out by The Oklahoman’s Erik Horne.

As far as draft assets, the Thunder can’t offer another team its first-round pick until 2022, either because of league rules or because they belong to another team. The Thunder could conceivably get $30 million under the salary cap to sign Griffin as an outright free agent, but it would be very difficult. It would require the Thunder dealing multiple pieces to teams with ample cap space while not taking back salary in the deals. The Thunder likely wouldn’t attempt to make such moves unless they had an assurance that Griffin wanted to sign.

It’s why the sign-and-trade is the option – presuming Griffin wants to come to Oklahoma City.

There has been no indication of Griffin wanting to play for the Thunder. And there will be myriad other teams vying for his services. And that’s without the increasing likelihood Griffin opts to make the Clippers his own and remains in L.A.

Although, it warrants mentioning the lure of a possible return to his hometown of Oklahoma City may prove to be a tantalizing option for the former Sooner.

That said, while Griffin joining the Thunder is theoretically conceivable, the odds arguably are greatly stacked against it.

[Dime Mag]