Detroit Pistons: Is Blake Griffin for John Wall trade talk alive?

Detroit Pistons Blake Griffin. (Photo by Brian Sevald/NBAE via Getty Images)
Detroit Pistons Blake Griffin. (Photo by Brian Sevald/NBAE via Getty Images) /

There was a report the Detroit Pistons have approached the Washington Wizards about trading forward Blake Griffin for guard John Wall.

The Detroit Pistons are certainly in a retooling phase and general manager Troy Weaver Jr. has shown no reluctance to swing trades, However, forward Blake Griffin, its biggest name player, had not really been publicly linked to any serious deals.

Griffin has the team’s largest contract, as he is owed around $37 million for the next two years. At 31-years-old, and coming off an injury that limited him to 18 games last year, Griffin might not project to be in the Pistons long-term plans.

Apparently, Detroit did inquire about Griffin’s trade value at one time.

ESPN’s Zach Lowe has written the Pistons approached the Wizards about a trade for John Wall that would involve Griffin.

Clutch Points reports Lowe said:

“The Pistons in recent weeks made an exploratory call to the Washington Wizards about a potential swap of Blake Griffin for John Wall, sources said, but Detroit’s real level of interest in that deal is unclear; they value Griffin, and the conversation led nowhere, sources said.”

The call to Washington occured before the draft, when the Pistons were searching out options to increase their number of draft choices. Detroit would eventually swing deals to give them the No. 16, 19 & 38 overall picks in the NBA Draft, in addition to their own selection at No. 7.

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There had been a report circulating that Wall, the all-star guard who has not played in two years due to injury, was seeking out of Washington. However, Wizards GM Tommy Shepard denied Wall asked to be traded.

Wall is owed a total of $133 million over the next three years, so Griffin’s contract is one of the few that comes close to matching it, making a trade at least possible. Wall’s name had also been linked to a trade for Houston guard Russell Westbrook.

The Wizards owned the No. 9 overall draft choice, a prime pick that the Pistons would, undoubtedly, liked to have had, for the right price.

If talks had progressed between the two teams, it would not have been a straight Griffin for Wall trade. Wall has one more year on his contract and, having been inactive for so long, is a bigger risk.

If the trade had been made, one has to wonder if the Pistons would still have drafted guard Killian Hayes at No. 7, since he plays the same position as Wall. Would Detroit instead maybe look for a shooting guard or a forward?  With Wall having three more years on his contract, there would not have been much playing time for a young ballhandling guard.

While Griffin had his season curtailed last season due to left knee soreness, that injury is not as serious as what Wall went through. Also, Griffin is only a year removed from an All-NBA season where he averaged 24.5 points.

The Wizards would have had to add sweeteners to make a deal the Pistons would accept. Something they apparently had no interest in doing.

Is Detroit shopping Griffin around? Most likely not. There has been little chatter about Griffin being available. Of course, when you are coming off a 20-46 season, no one can be called untouchable.

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A Griffin for Wall trade possibility seems dead at the moment.

The Pistons were probably just doing their due diligence in seeking avenues to add to their draft choice pile. Fans should be pleased that Detroit is being aggressive in seeking ways to improve the team.