ESPN's Chris Broussard reported that the Clippers and New York Knicks were discussing a trade that would send Carmelo Anthony out West, with Blake Griffin heading to Madison Square Garden. Broussard wrote that no contact had been made between the teams, just that the idea had been thrown around.
The rumor always seemed to be one of those fantastical trades that's too crazy to ever come to fruition. Rarely do you see two players the caliber of Anthony and Griffin traded straight up for one another, or at least involved in the same deal.
Rivers took major exception to the rumor, though. He went on the offensive, calling the trade rumors "stupid," per Dan Woike of the Orange County Register.
Doc Rivers called ESPN Blake Griffin-Carnelo Anthony report "so stupid."— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) January 5, 2014
"It’s just stupid. My whole issue with any of that crap, that network, to me, reports a story they created." -- Doc Rivers on ESPN story— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) January 5, 2014
(more) "Then, they do reports on it for the next two days, on a story, they created. But, it's stupid."— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) January 5, 2014
"If you’re the Knicks or whoever, wouldn’t you want Blake Griffin? I would. I don’t see what the story is." - Doc Rivers— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) January 5, 2014
ESPN reported Friday night that both the Knicks and Clippers have had internal discussions about an Anthony-for-Griffin swap, but neither has proposed the deal to the other. One source close to the situation said the Clippers' latest internal discussion ended in favor of keeping Griffin.
"Call Pop [Spurs coach Gregg Popovich] and and ask if he would like Blake. I think he'd say, 'Yeah, I think so, yeah I think so,' " Rivers said. "We had nothing to do with it."
It makes sense that Rivers would want to come out strongly against this trade rumor as quickly as possible. There's no reason to have Griffin become unsettled because of uncertainty about his future with the franchise.
However, Matt Moore of CBSSports.com wonders if there's a larger game afoot for Rivers, as he said the same kind of thing about Ray Allen in Boston, before he made the then-Celtics shooting guard expendable.
Doc Rivers also talked about how Ray Allen trade rumors were stupid Ask Ray bout that.— Hardwood Paroxysm (@HPbasketball) January 5, 2014
Doc's also a GOD at manipulating the media. He's bettter at that than coaching.— Hardwood Paroxysm (@HPbasketball) January 5, 2014
This is a fluid situation and likely won't reach any sort of conclusion until the Feb. 20 trade deadline arrives. Until then, speculation about Griffin's future in Los Angeles may continue to fly, no matter what Rivers says.