The New York Knicks would love to have Blake Griffin on their team. The Los Angeles Clippers would love to have Carmelo Anthony.
Doc Rivers‘ reaction to those two revelations was resounding: No, duh.
The Clippers’ head coach responded with disdain when presented with a report about the Knicks and Clippers having “internal discussions” — without either team contacting the other — about the other club’s respective All-Star forward. When the question was posed to Rivers before Saturday’s game, he scoffed, “Please, this is stupid.”
“If you’re the Knicks or whoever, would you want Blake Griffin?” Rivers said, according to ESPN.com. “I would. So I don’t see what the story is. … Call [Spurs coach Gregg Popovich] and ask if he would like Blake. I think he’d say, ‘Yeah, I think so.’”
The Clippers lead the Pacific Division by a half-game, but their position is tenuous with point guard Chris Paul sidelined with a separated right shoulder. They were run out of the gym by San Antonio on Saturday in their first game since Paul was injured last week against the Dallas Mavericks. Even with a healthy Paul, the Clippers were trounced by division foe Phoenix on Monday.
The uncertainty and inconsistency has reportedly created the need to do something before the Feb. 20 trade deadline to shore up the roster, but a deal for a player of Anthony’s caliber would require a tidal shift in the organization’s thinking. Someone like Griffin or center DeAndre Jordan presumably would have to be included in such a deal, which would transform the Clips from a pick-and-roll team dominated by Paul into a more midrange, isolation-oriented attack.
That sort of change would force the Clippers, who harbor championship aspirations, to revamp their system in the middle of the season — something that typically isn’t a successful path to a title. So don’t put much stock into this particular rumor. As Rivers says, it would be “stupid.”
Then again, “stupid” is a word that has described a lot of the Clippers’ moves over the years.