LeBron James’ decision to opt out of his contract with the Miami Heat on Tuesday has caused many NBA teams to consider clearing cap space and making deals to convince the superstar to join them.
The Los Angeles Clippers reportedly are on the list of potential buyers, but there’s one player they’re not willing to part with in trade in an attempt to clear salary cap space.
Clippers president and coach Doc Rivers has told star forward Blake Griffin multiple times that Griffin is “untouchable” in any trade, sources told ESPN on Tuesday.
The Clippers would need to make a significant move to free up cap space and acquire James or Carmelo Anthony, this offseason’s other prized free agent.
Los Angeles currently has $76 million in salary committed for next season, with Griffin set to make $17.7 million in 2014-15. That number will likely soon decrease, however, after Darren Collison, Glen Davis and Danny Granger opt out of their contracts for next season.
The Clippers still have a stable of talent in DeAndre Jordan, Jared Dudley, Matt Barnes, Jamal Crawford and J.J. Redick, but Rivers has made it clear that a blockbuster trade to acquire James or Anthony would exclude Griffin.
If Rivers and the Clippers can pull it off, the prospect of LeBron James teaming up with Griffin and Chris Paul, who played on two Olympic teams with James in 2008 and 2012, is a scary one for the rest of the NBA.