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Blake Griffin era ends with sense of regret as Clippers look toward uncertain future
We had a nice run. But we didn’t get it done, Rivers said. You win 57 games a year and have multiple All-Stars, but the ultimate goal is to win a title as a group. We were fun and we were exciting, but didn’t get it done.
There was a sense of sadness and shock in the Clippers’ locker room the day after the trade. Rivers and his players seemed stunned by the news that their star player and leader was no longer around. The move clearly had an effect on some of the younger players who undoubtedly looked to Griffin as a mentor in the locker room.
At the end of the season, it’s still on my decision on what I need to do for my family. That has nothing to do with my happiness here, though, George said in a recent interview with USA Today’s Sam Amick. I’ve been really happy. It’s a great organization to be a part of, but again, you know, I don’t want people looking at this and (saying) like, ‘Hey, because he said it’s his happiness at the end of the day (that he’s definitely re-signing).’
Bargnani had two years and $23 million left on his deal and was coming off one of the worst seasons of his career. It was the type of contract that, under normal circumstances, the Raptors would have had to attach a first-round pick to as a sweetener to get a team to take it. The Knicks gave up a first and two seconds for a player who was never worth it, for no reason.
To add insult to injury: the trade was so widely panned that during the 2013-14 season, Knicks owner James Dolan pulled out of trade discussions with Toronto for Kyle Lowry because he was worried about the perception that he would get fleeced again by Raptors GM Masai Ujiri. The Knicks have done a lot of questionable things in the Dolan era, and this deal is right near the top of the list.
Rather than staying at Indiana for at least another year to prove he could make a full recovery, Anunoby declared for the 2017 NBA Draft and was selected by the Raptors with the 23rd pick in the first round. The Raptors entered the draft as a veteran team that could afford to swing big and give Anunoby the time he needed to make a return to full health.