Nets Could Lose All-Star Free Agent to Eastern Conference Rival, Says GM

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

The Brooklyn Nets will have some tough decisions to make this offseason. They waived three of the players they started this season with (DeAndre Bembry, James Johnson, and Jevon Carter), and others such as LaMarcus Aldridge and Blake Griffin got buried on the bench towards the end of the season.

Several players from Brooklyn’s 2022 roster will be free agents this summer, including Aldridge and Griffin. Griffin resigned with the Nets last summer after he was acquired mid-season by the Nets in 2021 after the Detroit Pistons bought him out. But after falling out of head coach Steve Nash’s rotation at the end of the season, Griffin’s tenure with the Nets is seemingly over. One Eastern Conference general manager told Heavy’s own Sean Deveney that the Boston Celtics could be a premiere landing spot for the former Slam Dunk Contest champion if the Nets let him walk.

“Well, he only played a couple of games in the Boston series, but if you’re the Celtics and you saw him throwing himself around out there, making a lot of veteran winning plays, you had to be thinking, ‘Is he going to get a minimum deal next year?’” The east gm told Deveney.

“Because if you just need some energy off the bench, he was showing teams he still has some of that. You have to wonder if the Celtics saw that and filed it away, like, ‘We’ve got to give him a call on July 1.’ With the success the Celtics have had, Griffin would be interested.”

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Griffin Could Accept Decreased Role and Stay With Nets

Griffin, a six-time All-Star, only played 25 minutes for the Nets in the first round of the playoffs. A sign that he may not be part of the team’s plans moving forward. But Alex Schiffer of “The Athletic” says that whether or not Griffin is on the Nets next season, is based on the role he is willing to play.

“In the playoffs against Boston, Griffin provided energy for the Nets and gave them everything he had in limited spurts. He can’t move the way he used to, but still has some attributes to help a team. The Nets need more youth and two-way players down low,” Schiffer writes for “The Athletic”.

“Griffin made a seamless transition from franchise player to supporting cast when he went from Detroit to Brooklyn. Is he comfortable with being an end-of-the-bench player? That could keep him with the Nets. Otherwise, he might find more minutes elsewhere. Similar to Aldridge, the Nets will wait on Claxton before figuring out the rest of the frontcourt. But did Griffin’s outing against Boston boost his stock for a return?”

Griffin Doesn’t Need To Be a Star To Be Effective

Griffin used to be one of the most terrifying athletes in the NBA. But his best days may be behind him as he hasn’t averaged more than 20 points per game since the 2018-19 season. The Nets don’t need him to be the perennial All-Star forward that most have grown accustomed to seeing him be. Griffin can be used as a high-energy player off the bench who will crash the offensive and defensive glass and get on the floor for loose balls.

The Nets were swept out of the playoffs by the Celtics this season, and Boston is now just two wins away from securing this year’s title. Allowing them to acquire Griffin in free agency could be detrimental to Brooklyn’s chances of coming out of the East next season.

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