The Clippers proposed a deal to the Timberwolves that would have sent Blake Griffin to Minnesota in exchange for Karl-Anthony Towns but talks did not advance past the initial phone call, Michael Scotto of Basketball Insiders writes.
The Timberwolves view Towns as a franchise cornerstone who is not available at this time, Scotto notes. Aside from Minnesota’s reluctance to part with Towns, several other factors stand in the way of a trade. Los Angeles signed Griffin to a massive five-year, $171MM extension this past offseason. Not only does that make Griffin ineligible to be traded until January 15, but Towns’ salary is a mere $6.2MM compared to Griffin’s $29.5MM.
To facilitate a trade, the Timberwolves would likely need to send at least two more players to L.A. to acquire Griffin. That would also complicate the Clippers’ roster as the organization would need to figure how to open a roster spot for the hypothetical third player acquired, according to Scotto.
Griffin, 28, has played well when healthy for the Clippers this season, averaging 22.6 PPG, 7.7 RPG, and 5.2 APG in 25 games. In his third season, the 22-year-old Towns’ scoring is down from last season (20.2 PPG) but his 12.0 RPG in an NBA-best 44 games is in line with his career totals.
The Clippers’ performance this season has fluctuated but the team is currently one game behind the Pelicans for the eighth seed with a 20-21 record. A rebuild has been rumored for months which would likely include shipping the likes of DeAndre Jordan and Lou Williams elsewhere. However, this is the first time we are hearing that the Clippers have discussed Griffin in trade talks.