The Nets certainly stand to improve elsewhere on their roster as the March 25 trade deadline approaches and they set their sights on a deep playoff run. One interesting name surfaced Monday.
If Pistons Buy-Out Griffin, He Could Be an Option for Nets
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Monday that Detroit’s Blake Griffin will sit out until he is traded or bought out by the Pistons.
ESPN story on Blake Griffin and Pistons agreeing that he will be out of the lineup until the franchise and his reps can work through a resolution on his playing future: https://t.co/EHsnV9sED8
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 15, 2021
Detroit is in the midst of a rebuild under first-year GM Troy Weaver, rendering the 31-year-old Griffin expendable.
From Woj’s ESPN article:
“After extensive conversation with Blake’s representatives, it has been determined that we will begin working to facilitate a resolution regarding his future with the team that maximizes the interests of both parties,” Weaver told ESPN on Monday. “We respect all the effort Blake has put forth in Detroit and his career and will work to achieve a positive outcome for all involved.”
In a statement, Griffin told ESPN: “I am grateful to the Pistons for understanding what I want to accomplish in my career and for working together on the best path forward.”
Griffin, a six-time All-Star, is owed a remaining $36.6 million this season and $39 million in 2021-22, creating a significant challenge when it comes to looking to trade him. Woj noted that the Pistons “will continue to pursue trade scenarios involving Griffin, and talks on a contract buyout with his agent, Sam Goldfeder of Excel Sports, could eventually come into focus.”
The Nets have a combined $11.4 million in exceptions (the taxpayer mid-level exception and the disabled player exception) at their disposal if Griffin indeed hits the market following a buyout.
Griffin Has Ties to 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.
Far From His Lob City Days
The tail end of the Lob City era in Los Angeles was only a few years ago, but Griffin has regressed significantly since.
In fact, ESPN’s Rachel Nichols recently pointed out that Griffin’s last dunk came on December 6, 2019 — a startling stat when considering how many highlight-reel slams the former No. 1 overall pick has on his resume.
December 6th, 2019
The last dunk of Blake Griffin’s career pic.twitter.com/mGVlP2yTh8
— gianni🅙 🦁 (@PlayoffDre) February 10, 2021
I just heard @Rachel__Nichols say that Blake Griffin hasnt had a dunk in a game since 2019, and my mind exploded.
— Grant Liffmann (@GrantLiffmann) February 12, 2021
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.
Still, as a role player, Griffin could be a valuable addition for a Nets team looking to shore up its depth. He’d bring size, versatility, playmaking ability and solid passing to Brooklyn’s frontcourt.