The Brooklyn Nets are already the favorites to win the NBA Finals this year, housing superstar talents Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and James Harden. As if they were not difficult enough to beat, on Sunday afternoon they acquired six-time NBA All-Star Blake Griffin via the buyout market.
Griffin was under contract for Detroit until the end of the 2022 season, but after talking with the Pistons’ front office, the two sides came to a buyout agreement. The Pistons paid the veteran big man the $56.5 million left on his contract, and the sides mutually agreed that Griffin would leave the active roster on February 15 awaiting a trade or buyout.
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Blake Griffin Details His Buyout From Pistons
The former Rookie of the Year talked about how Detroit’s front office explained the plan to him.
“They just came to me and said ‘Hey listen, we are going in a different direction. This is pretty much a full rebuild,” Griffin detailed to Rich Eisen on the Rich Eisen Show via NetsDaily
“This year, they kept Derrick Rose and I on and they sort of wanted us from training camp, mentor, and help out so many young guys and so many new guys. They wanted us to be there for that. We did that and Derrick made the decision that he wanted to try to play for a playoff team and play more minutes somewhere and they honored that,” Griffin continued.
“‘[They said] We are going to sit you some, but you can kind of do anything you want.’ We all thought it was best to let these guys move forward and play these young guys, which they wanted to do, and work something out that benefited both of us and moving on. I’m grateful to that organization.”
Pistons General Manager Troy Weaver told The Athletic that the departure was rather harmonious.
“We definitely wanted to exhaust everything,” said Weaver.
“We looked to the trade market, as well, to see if we could facilitate something to get him in a situation or destination that he would like, as well as make it a good situation for us. We didn’t automatically think or assume that it would be a buyout. We just landed there. It’s worked out for all parties.”
This is not the same Blake Griffin from the Lob City Clippers, as he has sustained multiple leg injuries throughout his career. The bright side is that he fits perfectly into the Nets’ current system of play, having improved his three-point shooting considerably and being able to make plays for others.
Harden Knows Griffin Wants To Win
Griffin came to Brooklyn looking to win a championship, and according to his new teammate James Harden, it is evident.
“I’m sure he wants to win. If he passed up more money to obviously stay in Detroit, he wants to win, and he wants to have an opportunity to play meaningful minutes. I’m assuming that’s one of the reasons why he came,” Harden said via Kristian Winfield of the New York Daily News.
“Obviously, we know the athletic and high-jumping Blake, but I think as of these last couple years, he’s knocking down the 3-ball a little bit better, ball-handling is a lot better, and he can be a great contribution to this team,” Harden continued
The Nets currently sit just a half-game back of the Philadelphia 76ers for the top spot in the Eastern Conference. While Durant’s status for Thursday is still up in the air, they are more than equipped to make a run for Eastern Conference supremacy.