There is no doubt that Blake Griffin, longtime nemesis of the Warriors, is not quite the player he once was. At age 31 and having undergone a raft of knee troubles over the course of his career, Griffin is a shell of himself, averaging 12.3 points and 5.2 rebounds this season, making a mere 36.5% of his shots and 31.5% of his 3-pointers. This comes after Griffin played just 15 games for Detroit last season.
Now Griffin and the Pistons are parting ways, both player and team telling ESPN that he will stay off the floor until Griffin can be traded, or a buyout agreement can be reached.
So, Warriors … any interest?
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
Not likely. The Warriors, seeking depth in the frontcourt, could be willing to take on Griffin, but likely only in a buyout situation. That’s because the contract that Griffin sports–$75 million over the for this year and next—is nearly impossible for the Warriors to absorb unless Golden State shipped out either Klay Thompson (not happening) or Andrew Wiggins (not happening either).
Griffin is an excellent passer who would tempt the Warriors as a small-ball stretch-5 option if he could be signed as a free agent. But the “stretch” aspect of that is in some doubt. Griffin only began taking 3-pointers in earned in 2017, and since then, he has shot only 33.9% from the arc.
Pistons, Griffin Agreeing to Part Ways, Somehow
Even with Griffin’s struggles, the news about him staying away from the team was a surprise around the NBA. But general manager Troy Weaver clearly wants to give himself a chance to unload Griffin’s contract before Griffin either gets hurt or can be bought out.
“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.”
Griffin Has a Rocky History With Warriors
Griffin, of course, is not well-loved in the Bay Area as it is. That dates way back to the 2012 season, when the Clippers were more established but the brash young Warriors were on the way up. The Warriors’ bench had a penchant for teasing Griffin, getting into his head and accusing him of flopping.
On Christmas Day 2013, Griffin—then a Clipper—got into a tussle with a pair of Warriors, first Draymond Green, then Andrew Bogut, and was kicked out of the game. Clippers coach Doc Rivers accused the Warriors of targeting Griffin and trying to get him ejected.
— Yahoo Sports (@YahooSports) December 27, 2013
“If you look at it, I didn’t do anything and I got thrown out of the game,” Griffin said at the time. “It all boils down to they fell for it. To me, that’s cowardly. That’s cowardly basketball.
“Instead of just playing straight up and playing a game, it got into something more than that, and it’s unfortunate because you want to play a team head-to-head. You don’t want to start playing other games and playing cowardly basketball.”
So Griffin really, really would have to be playing well for Warriors fans to embrace his acquisition. And he’s just not playing well.