The Brooklyn Nets are still trying to compete for a championship as long as Kevin Durant, Ben Simmons and Kyrie Irving are on the roster.
In the case of Durant, that’s no guarantee as the forward has requested a trade from the Nets, but there hasn’t been a whole lot of movement on that since June. As of right now, it’s tough to know for certain if he’ll even be moved, but that hasn’t stopped some other members of the team from jumping ship.
Starters Andre Drummond and Bruce Brown have already departed, and there’s a chance even more players will be going. Although he was already unlikely to return, Blake Griffin seemed to have earned himself another contract with his strong play in the playoffs against the Celtics.
The Los Angeles Lakers have already been linked to the 6-time All-Star via an NBA executive speaking to Heavy.com’s Sean Deveney.
“Look, you do not want to get hit with Covid issues again this year, no team does,” the exec told Deveney. “You are going to need a couple of roster spots for veterans who can be thrown into the mix without missing a beat and Blake can do that. The Lakers took some swings on young guys, but give me a veteran on that roster and I feel a lot better about the depth trouble they might wind up having. But that kind of thing is on hold until the Lakers figure out what they’re doing with the rest of their summer here.”
Building off that, Sports Illustrated’s Ben Stinar also believes the Lakers would be a good landing spot for Griffin at this stage of his career, and the Lakers could certainly use all the help they can get.
Griffin to Los Angeles
It might feel like a long time ago at this point, but Griffin’s best days as a pro came during his run with the Clippers.
This would bring him back to the city, but just for the other team. Playing alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis could work wonders for him in the twilight of his career, however. Stinar lists some good reasons as to why signing Griffin would work for the Lakers.
“Griffin is 33 years old, but he is far from his prime, so he will likely be available for the veteran’s minimum,” he wrote. “He can be a very good bench player for the Lakers, and he has experience over the last few seasons playing as a role player behind stars (Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant on the Nets).”
Griffin won’t be relied on for much in Los Angeles, quite similar to his role with the Nets, so he could still relatively fresh for when he’s called upon. Then again, he did find himself out of the rotation by the end of the year and only got playing time in the playoffs when the Nets were out of options.
Would Griffin be Interested?
If Griffin is interested in winning an NBA championship before retirement, the Lakers might not be his best option even with Russell Westbrook, Anthony Davis and LeBron James on the roster.
The Lakers are coming off a season where they missed the playoffs entirely, and signing Griffin wouldn’t do a whole lot to move the needle. Los Angeles will need a lot more help than him, and a trade for Kyrie Irving would be able to accomplish that, but it’s unclear if the Lakers have the assets to convince the Nets to trade their star guard.