Warriors in the Running for 6x All-Star Big Man: Report

Blake Griffin

Getty Blake Griffin tries to get around LeBron James in a January game.

The Golden State Warriors could be looking for some reinforcement for the frontcourt after a high-profile buyout.

After news that the Detroit Pistons agreed to a buyout for veteran forward Blake Griffin, a series of reports indicated that the Warriors were among the handful of teams interested in signing him. While it would take some roster shifting in order to make it work, the move could help add depth at a critical time as Golden State looks to make a second-half playoff push.

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Interest in Griffin Reportedly High

If the Warriors are able to sign the six-time All-Star forward, it will likely mean overcoming some tight competition. As NBC Sports reported, there are at least five other teams that have already expressed interest — the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers, Brooklyn Nets, Miami Heat and Portland Trail Blazers. The report added that more teams could still jump in the mix.

But Griffin’s once-famous athleticism has taken a significant dip within the last two seasons, leaving him a much different player than his earlier days in the NBA. He has averaged a career-low 12.3 points in 31.3 minutes per game and his game is now almost entirely below the rim. As NBC Sports noted, Griffin has not dunked in a game since December 2019 and his jumpshot has suffered due to his lack of lift.

Roster Fit Could Be Difficult

If the Warriors do manage to sign Griffin, it would take some work. As Alex Didion of NBC Sports Bay Area noted, the Warriors would be able to use the designated player exception (DPE) which would allow them to offer more money than other interested teams, but they would still have to clear out a roster spot for him in order to do so.

As Didion noted, it would also be unclear where Griffin might fit in the frontcourt. Warriors coach Steve Kerr said this week that the team has gotten strong defensive play out of rookie center James Wiseman but is looking for more offensive production overall — an area where Griffin has struggled this season.

“So we have to continue to search, I think you’re gonna see us juggle some spots in the rotation and try some different combinations and just keep searching for the right formula to try to give us that two-way capability that will help us win close games and stay in this playoff fight and put us in good position to go to the postseason,” Kerr said, via NBC Sports Bay Area.

The report noted that Griffin could also be more inclined to pick a team in title contention, an idea backed up by Shams Charania of The Athletic. He tweeted the Griffin may already have a destination in mind, and it’s not Golden State.

“Rival teams with interest are expecting Griffin to choose Nets as a title favorite for chance to win a championship,” he tweeted.

While the Nets are seen as a top title contender this year, the Warriors are fighting to stay in the playoff picture in a tightly packed Western Conference. The team followed up its first three-game winning streak of the season with a three-game losing streak leading into the All-Star break, dropping them into ninth place in the conference.

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