NBA Trade Rumors: Clippers Making Blake Griffin Available, Hassan Whiteside On The Block?

We're just days away from the NBA Trade Deadline on Feb. 18 at 3:00 pm ET, which means there's plenty of rumors to sift through as teams look to either bolster themselves for a playoff run or punt on a lost season. With that in mind, here are all the latest news and rumors from around the league:

Clippers are open to trading Blake Griffin

The Los Angeles Clippers told teams a few weeks ago that they were not going to trade All-Star power forward Blake Griffin after the incident involving a member of the team's equipment staff, but they appear to have changed their tune. According to the New York Daily News' Frank Isola, Griffin is available:

The Clippers are making Blake Griffin available even though the injured forward is recovering from a second surgical procedure to his right (punching) hand and may not play again this season, especially if he's traded to a team out of the playoff race.

Isola went on to speculate about possible trade destinations for Griffin, and discussed a potential Griffin for Carmelo Anthony swap with the New York Knicks.

A Griffin-for-Anthony trade makes sense on a number of levels including the fact that Anthony and Chris Paul have for years tried to become teammates. And yes, that was Paul's young son playing with Carmelo's young son during the All-Star Saturday festivities. But any deal involving Anthony still comes down to him waiving his no-trade clause and Anthony twice reiterated this weekend that he's not prepared to that just "yet." The Clippers are believed to be one team Anthony would seriously consider joining. Stay tuned.

Griffin is averaging 23.2 points, 8.7 rebounds, and 5.0 assists per game so far this season.

Heat put Hassan Whiteside on the trade block

The Miami Heat have been frustrated with the inconsistency and immaturity of star center Hassan Whiteside, and with him set to become a free agent this offseason (and since Miami can't afford what it will cost to re-sign him), they have made him available in trade talks, reports the Miami Herald's Barry Jackson.

ESPN’s Chris Broussard said the Heat is gauging trade interest in Whiteside, and two people in contact with the Heat told me that Miami appears open to considering a Whiteside trade, if it can dump other salary and get quality talent back, because it knows it’s going to be uncomfortably costly to keep him. Heat officials have expressed frustration with him, for reasons we explained in last Sunday’s column. But the Heat also knows the odds would be against a trade this week because he’s earning just $981,000 (causing cap complications) and the team acquiring him wouldn’t have any financial advantage in re-signing him.

One potential trade there has been a lot of talk about involves sending Whiteside (and other pieces) to the Houston Rockets for Dwight Howard. Whiteside is averaging 12.9 points, 11.0 rebounds, and leads the league with 3.9 blocks per game this season.

Timberwolves making Ricky Rubio available

The Minnesota Timberwolves are one of the most promising young teams in the league, but could starting point guard Ricky Rubio be on his way out? With slam dunk champ Zach LaVine in line to take over the starting job sooner rather than later, Isola notes that Rubio has been made "readily available" by the Timberwolves and "the feeling is that the Spanish guard could be moved" before the deadline. 

Rubio is averaging 9.7 points and 8.6 assists per game this season, while LaVine 12.8 points, 3.2 assists, and 2.9 rebounds per game off the bench.

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Related Topics: Blake Griffin, Clippers News, Timberwolves News, Knicks News, Carmelo Anthony, Ricky Rubio, Dwight Howard, Rockets News, Heat News, Hassan Whiteside, NBA News