Key Nets Free Agent Linked to Pair of Western Conference Rivals

Getty Images Blake Griffin of the Brooklyn Nets congratulates Kyrie Irving.

The Brooklyn Nets have had their share of drama to deal with this offseason between Kyrie Irving’s uncertainty about coming back and now Kevin Durant’s trade request.

We’re now over a month removed from Durant’s trade request, and it doesn’t look like there’s any move happening in the near future. As the Nets get that settled, they’ll also have to find out how to build a competitive roster for the next season.

Bruce Brown and Andre Drummond, starters from last season’s squad, both departed this offseason and they’ll both need to be replaced. Nic Claxton will now step into the starter role on a full-time basis, and Joe Harris will likely take Brown’s spot if he’s healthy.

Blake Griffin and LaMarcus Aldridge, veterans from last season’s team, are both unlikely to return. Griffin stepped up in the playoffs and provided very productive minutes for Brooklyn, and although the series ended in a sweep, the big man might’ve secured a new contract.

It doesn’t look like a Nets return is likely, but an Eastern Conference executive speaking to Heavy.com’s Sean Deveney believes there are two teams that would be a good fit for him: the Los Angeles Lakers and the Phoenix Suns.


Griffin to Lakers?

It’s no secret that Griffin made a name for himself in Los Angeles, but that was with the Clippers instead of the Lakers.

However, the Lakers are in need of veterans who can easily step in and provide solid minutes, even if they aren’t playing on an consistent basis. The executive believes Griffin would be a good fit for that.

“Look, you do not want to get hit with Covid issues again this year, no team does,” he 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.”

One of the downfalls last year for the Lakers was the fact they had so many veterans, but Griffin could end up being an exception as he wouldn’t be playing heavy minutes.


What About the Suns?

A team that’s a bit more closer to bringing home a title could be of more interest to Griffin at this stage in his career, and the executive believes the Suns could be a fit for that.

“Once everyone picks a direction with [Kevin Durant] and Donovan Mitchell and all of the situations that need to be figured out, there will be a contender that brings in Blake,” he said. “Phoenix is one that makes sense and they could have a need there, but that is only if all the bad blood he had with Chris Paul is really gone”

Griffin’s best days as a pro came with Chris Paul at point guard, but the two had a falling out, but perhaps they could put it behind them to go for a title.

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