As the Brooklyn Nets continue to look for ways to bolster their roster ahead of what they expect will be a run at a championship later this season, things took an interesting turn Friday when one big name suddenly hit the open market.
And according to multiple reports, the Nets are firmly in the mix for his services.
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Nets a ‘Strong Contender’ to Land Blake Griffin
The Detroit Pistons and Blake Griffin reached terms on a contract buyout Friday, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The development leaves Griffin as an unrestricted free agent, free to sign wherever he wants.
Shortly after Woj’s report, Marc Stein of The New York Times reported that the Nets, Lakers, Clippers, Heat and Warriors are among the teams that have expressed interest in Griffin. Thirty-nine minutes later, Stein replied to his own tweet to emphasize the Nets’ interest.
“The Nets are regarded as a strong contender for Blake Griffin,” Stein tweeted.
The Nets are regarded as a strong contender for Blake Griffin given Brooklyn's rise and his longstanding relationship with players there and the Celtics have also expressed interest, league sources say.
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) March 5, 2021
The Athletic’s Shams Charania also weighed in a possible Griffin-to-Brooklyn scenario, reporting the Nets “are believed to be leaders” to sign Griffin. “Rival teams with interest are expecting Griffin to choose Nets as a title favorite for chance to win a championship.”
The Brooklyn Nets are believed to be leaders to sign six-time All-Star Blake Griffin, sources tell me and @JLEdwardsIII. Rival teams with interest are expecting Griffin to choose Nets as a title favorite for chance to win a championship.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) March 5, 2021
The Nets have two player exceptions at their disposal (the taxpayer mid-level exception and the disabled player exception) to sign the 31-year-old Griffin.
If the Nets need to use an exception to sign Griffin, it makes sense to use their MLE on him since they could use the DPE to acquire an expiring contract in a trade later.
Assuming he gets waived today, Griffin will clear waivers on Sunday. Nets MLE will be worth $5.36M then. https://t.co/gROgtmVqF7
— Yossi Gozlan (@YossiGozlan) March 5, 2021
Indeed, Griffin would have a chance to win an NBA title with the Nets, who have been an offensive juggernaut since trading for James Harden in January and are currently a half game back of the Philadelphia 76ers for first place in the Eastern Conference. Coming to Brooklyn also would allow Griffin to join forces with some familiar faces.
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How Would Griffin Fit With Nets?
Remember Lob City? Those high-flying Clippers teams from 2011-17 featured Chris Paul at the point and lots of dunks by current Nets center DeAndre Jordan and… Griffin.
So there’d certainly be inherent chemistry if Jordan and Griffin were to reunited in Brooklyn.
Griffin, a 6-foot-9 forward, also is a former teammate of Nets guard Bruce Brown, who spent the first two seasons of his career with Detroit before joining Brooklyn ahead of this season.
As for his potential fit with the Nets, he’d add some significant value. As a role player, Griffin could be a key addition for a Nets team looking to shore up its frontcourt depth. He’d bring size, versatility, playmaking ability and solid passing to Brooklyn.
Griffin has averaged 21.4 points on 49.5% shooting over the span of his 12-year NBA career, but is averaging only 12.3 points on 36.5% shooting this season. He’s also averaging 5.2 rebounds and 3.9 assists. The No. 1 overall pick out of Oklahoma in 2009, Griffin was an All-Star for five straight seasons between 2011-15, and also made the All-Star team in 2019.