Within moments on Jan. 29, the Los Angeles Clippers seemingly went from a (fringe) playoff contender to a team with a very different direction. Word broke that the team was in advanced discussions to trade Blake Griffin to the Detroit Pistons and, in the blink of an eye, the deal was done in sending the All-Star forward, along with Brice Johnson and Willie Reed, to the Eastern Conference in exchange for Tobias Harris, Avery Bradley, Boban Marjanovic and draft assets.
Many assumed immediately that the trade was the start of a rebuilding focus for the Clippers and, moments later, that was seemingly confirmed with the revelation that Los Angeles is seeking youth and draft picks in exchange for its top two remaining players.
It comes as no surprise that the Clippers are marketing both Lou Williams and DeAndre Jordan, with both players reportedly linked various trade possibilities in recent days. Still, the notion that the team is seeking future-facing returns for the duo certainly seems to signal a rebuilding effort, especially in light of the fact that Los Angeles will be acquiring short-term contracts with Harris ($14.8 million for one additional season), Bradley (expiring this summer) and Marjanovic ($7 million for one additional season).
Given the overall play of Williams this season and the reputation/production of Jordan, the Clippers should have no trouble in finding trade partners. Just how attractive the offers are, though, could vary based simply on the fact that this now appears to be a team with little interest in adding present-day talent at the expense of future flexibility and value.
As evidenced by the actions of Monday evening, a lot can change in a short period of time when it comes to the NBA universe but the Clippers look to be leaning heavily in the direction of a full-fledged rebuild.