The Los Angeles Clippers made an incredibly bold move recently. They traded away superstar Blake Griffin, Willie Reed, and Brice Johnson to the Detroit Pistons in return for Tobias Harris, Avery Bradley, Boban Marjanovic, a first-round draft pick in 2018 and a second-round pick in 2019. It was the wrong move.

Now, most NBA executives and writers have classified the move as fairly successful. The Clippers did get rid of their star but he is almost 29 with a checkered history of injuries. He hasn’t played more than 67 games in the last three seasons and has already missed significant time this year. Plus, he’s on a mega contract worth over $141 million that will end up paying him $39 million when he’s 33. Why would you tie yourself up in an aging frequently injured star who has not proven himself capable of winning championships anyway? One of the reasons is because they promised to stick with him.

The Clippers made headlines over the summer for resigning Griffin to a maximum deal, but it did not end there. They reportedly promised him that he would be Clipper legend. They even supposedly went as far as holding a mock jersey retiring ceremony for him. They promised he would be with them forever. Then they shipped him out for a couple of solid players and some draft picks. If that is not the definition of going back on your word, then nothing is. They lied to Griffin and they lied to the fans who thought they would be watching the greatest player in their franchise’s history for years to come.

What also made the trade unsavory was because this Clippers team was something special. Not special in the way that it wins a record number of games, but special because the players in it were so close to each other. Through longstanding injuries to Patrick Beverly, Danilo Gallinari, Austin Rivers, and even Blake himself, this team found a way to keep winning games and stay within playoff contention. There was this heartwarming article that talked about how together this team was. They knew they weren’t the most talented but they were hard-working, tenacious, and they were getting wins. It almost seemed like Doc Rivers was having a more enjoyable time coaching them than the ever did with the Chris Paul-Clippers. Yet they still decided to tank.

Ok so past all the sentimental issues of the trade, it was also bad business. The Clippers think they’re building a great future for themselves, but they do not realize that every team needs to have a superstar to win. How did the Cavaliers become a perennially dominant team in the East and the Heat before them? They went out and got superstars. None of them waited for superstars to come to them and they certainly did not get rid of the ones they had.

The Philadelphia 76ers have done an excellent job of capitalizing on a desperate fan base by continually touting their “process” as the road to the promised land. The 76ers should be given an award for keeping their fan base complacent with so many empty promises. The 76ers have been sub-500 since the 2004-2005 season, and have finished at least 14 or lower in the 16 team Eastern Conference for the last four years. Yet despite all those incredibly good draft picks they accumulated over the years, this is still a team that is only barely holding onto the last playoff spot in the East this year.

Tanking does not work, and trading away superstars for average players does not work. The Clippers betrayed the trust of a player who was formerly the face of the franchise. They decided to completely give up on a team that was fun and inspiring to watch. If this is the new culture of the NBA, then I want no part of it. Good luck Harris, Bradley, and Marjanovic you have got impossibly large shoes to fill.

This article first appeared on and was syndicated with permission.


Amanda Nunes to defend title at UFC 224

Shaq’s son hints in deleted tweet he no longer wants to attend Arizona

10 biggest disappointments of the 2018 Winter Olympics

Mood 'somber' as Butler prepares to undergo MRI on injured knee

FBI docs show widespread payments to top college, HS players


Report: LeBron questioned Cavs GM’s absence from road trip

Jonathan Martin detained after seeking help at hospital

Chiefs trade Marcus Peters to Rams

Rays lose Brent Honeywell for season to torn UCL

Warriors, Wolves, Thunder all eyeing Joakim Noah?

Legal expert: 'Real chance NBA could come down hard' on Mavs

Mr. T gives pep talk to US curling team ahead of gold-medal match

Sports & Politics Intersect: Cuban forced to face culture of misogyny in Mavs front office

The 'Let’s play QB roulette' quiz

NHL Weekender: Playoff races heat up as trade deadline looms

14 NBA X-factors who will tip the scales in the postseason

MLB breakout candidates for the 2018 season

No one wants to jump with Dennis Smith Jr.

NFL players who could be traded before draft

Negro Leaguers every baseball fan should know

Top MLB Cy Young candidates heading into 2018

The greatest barrier-breaking African-American moments in MLB history

Faltering Blackhawks face tough decisions at deadline

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Sports & Politics Intersect: Cuban forced to face culture of misogyny in Mavs front office

MLB breakout candidates for the 2018 season

The 'Let’s play QB roulette' quiz

NHL Weekender: Playoff races heat up as trade deadline looms

No one wants to jump with Dennis Smith Jr.

The 'Kawhi so serious?' quiz

Top MLB Cy Young candidates heading into 2018

25 best MLB players under 25

The 'Red Sox finally get their guy' quiz

MLB's top 10 first basemen for 2018

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker