The San Antonio Spurs are not playing well lately. And rumors say that the problem lies on their starting frontcourt, LaMarcus Aldridge and Pau Gasol. Speculations arise that trading Gasol for Los Angeles Clippers' Blake Griffin would be a better move.
Spurs opened the season beating the NBA superteam Golden State Warriors at home in a surprisingly lopsided victory. Then they won their next 3 games to start the season with an impressive 4-0.
But in their last 4 games, they dropped to 1-3, losing to the Utah Jazz, Los Angeles Clippers and Houston Rockets. And all of those last 3 losses came at home, which is not a good sign for an elite team like the Spurs.
In those 3 losses, Aldridge scored 21, 19 and 14. Gasol on the other hand, only scored 8, 8 and 2 respectively. That's a decent scoring productive from Aldridge. But Pau Gasol's scoring is quite worrisome. And he only attempted a total of 19 field goals in those games.
It seems like Pau Gasol can't get enough touches with Aldridge as his frontcourt partner. His 8.4 scoring average is way below his career average of 18.1, per ESPN.
And according to Today's Fastbreak, Gasol is not playing very good defense this season. He has slow feet and lack the defensive awareness. Perhaps the age has something to do with it.
Aldridge is not also a very good defensive player. This is where the Spurs missed the presence of Tim Duncan, who's known for his defensive skills even during the twilight of his career. Gasol and Aldridge might be a good offensive player. But not very good in defense, which will become a major problem for the Spurs.
Gasol and Aldridge can't seem to jive together on the basketball court. And trading Gasol for Los Angeles Clippers' Blake Griffin might be a good move for the struggling Spurs.
Los Angeles Clippers are the best team in the NBA right now. At 7-1, they are having the best start in franchise history. Blake Griffin is playing like his usual self this season averaging 19.6 points and 10.1 rebounds. But Griffin's future with the Clippers is still uncertain after this season.
In the summer of 2017, he can opt out of his contract and explore free agency. And the possibility of losing an elite player in free agency would hurt the Clippers. Because they will not get something in return for a big time player like Griffin. Just like what happened last offseason when Kevin Durant chooses to sign with the Golden State Warriors and the OKC Thunder didn't get anything in return.
Considering this fact, the Clippers might trade Griffin before the trade deadline. And trading Griffin for Gasol will benefit the Clippers. With their lineup right now, they lack veteran leadership who will play a big role, especially during playoffs.
Aside from that, Gasol and DeAndre Jordan might be a good combination. Gasol's not-so-impressive defense this season might compliment to Jordan's defensive prowess. Jordan might also benefit from the passing skills of Gasol on offense.
The Spurs might also benefit in this trade. What the Spurs lack is athleticism and it's pretty evident in the playoff series against the OKC Thunder last season. Getting Griffin who is very young and athletic could help the Spurs in playoff time.
According to NBA.com, Blake Griffin's focus is this season. And he will think of free agency once it comes. But given the current situation, who knows? Perhaps this trade might push through.